Officials, Nurses Hold News Conference on Mission Hospital’s Immediate Jeopardy

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Written by Keith Campbell, Asheville Watchdog.

Elected officials, nurses, and advocates held an hourlong news conference in Asheville on Tuesday to talk about the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ finding of immediate jeopardy at Mission Hospital.

The finding of immediate jeopardy is the most serious deficiency possible for a hospital, issued only when federal and state investigators determine there are severe threats to patients’ health and safety. Mission now has 23 days to fix the problems or risk losing its Medicare and Medicaid funding, which would threaten the hospital’s financial viability and force tens of thousands of western North Carolina patients to seek care elsewhere.

The Watchdog livestreamed the news conference on our Facebook page, where you can find a recording of it. You can also view it here in its entirety.

The news conference, held at the Buncombe County government building and organized by Sen. Julie Mayfield, D-Buncombe, occurred a day after Asheville Watchdog reported that Mission must provide a plan to CMS to address several deficiencies in care by today, Feb. 6.

With CMS’ finding “We now have confirmation of what our community has known for years: HCA is failing to run Mission Hospital in a safe manner,” Mayfield said in her opening remarks.

In addition to Mayfield, the speakers were:

  • Brownie Newman, Buncombe County Commission chair
  • Esther Manheimer, mayor of Asheville
  • Maureen Copeloff, mayor of Brevard
  • Holly Jones, a senior policy adviser from North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s office
  • Victoria Hicks, Health Equity Coalition
  • The Rev. Missy Harris, a minister and former Mission Hospital chaplain
  • Mike Messino, retired oncologist
  • Kerri Wilson, a Mission nurse representing National Nurses United
  • John Nicolay, citizen activist

Asheville Watchdog is a nonprofit news team producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. Keith Campbell is the managing editor of The Watchdog. Email [email protected]. To show your support for this vital public service go to avlwatchdog.org/donate.