When St. Luke's swung open the doors of its new $114 million, 200,000 square-foot medical center in Nampa on Oct. 30, hospital officials were anxious to show off the 87 patient rooms, four operating rooms, 10 intensive care units, one cardiology lab and one radiology lab. Not everything was in place, however, at the medical center, St. Luke's eighth and newest. The hospital hasn't yet secured accreditation to bill Medicare or Medicaid—although some Medicare and Medicaid patients have received services during first few days of operations.
According to Vice President for Communications and Marketing of St. Luke's Health System Beth Toal, the hospital will be unable to recoup those costs.
"There have been some [Medicare and Medicaid] patients that had been cared for in Nampa," said Toal. "But because we hadn't issued the formal Advanced Beneficiary Notice communicating this difference to them, they are not going to be held accountable for those charges." She stressed that the accreditation delay would not affect any Medicare or Medicaid patients seeking emergency care.
Toal said hospital administrators made incorrect assumptions based on a previous experience opening a medical facility in Meridian.
"What's different about St. Luke's in Nampa is that it's a brand new facility operating under a brand new license," Toal said. "And so, as our team was looking at the information about the opening, there was some of the information that they misunderstood or didn't quite interpret correctly, which created this."
The accreditation required to bill Medicare and Medicaid is administered by the Illinois-based non-profit Joint Commission, which has certified more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs across the United States. Toal said the accreditation process for St. Luke's Nampa is expected to conclude sometime in December.