Mount Carmel St. Ann's In The Clear With Federal Agency

Apr 23, 2019

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services accepted a corrective plan from Mount Carmel St. Ann's to address problems with the physical environment of the hospital facility.

"We have completed 100 percent of the corrective actions detailed in that plan,” said a Mount Carmel Health System spokesman. “We anticipate CMS to return to our hospitals for a follow-up visit to assess and confirm that all appropriate actions are complete and effective.”

CMS told Mount Carmel in January that two of its hospitals were in “immediate jeopardy” of losing federal funding following the firing of doctor William Husel. Husel, an ICU doctor and anesthesiologist, is accused of giving “excessive” doses of painkillers to dozens of patients, all of whom died after receiving the medicine.

In Februrary, both Mount Carmel West and St. Ann’s submitted action plans to address the pharmacy process, including policy deficiencies surrounding the use of fentanyl and failed safeguards in the medication dispensing system.

While CMS accepted the plans and removed their “immediate jeopardy” status, the agency reported “condition level non-compliance remains at both facilities.”

Timeline: The Mount Carmel Scandal So Far

After a full review by the Ohio Department of Health, CMS cleared the hospitals’ pharmaceutical services of deficiencies in March. However, that survey identified additional problems with their “physical environment,” including fire and building safety issues.

Mount Carmel Health System submitted its new plan of correction on April 11. While CMS approved the plan for St. Ann's in Westerville, it has yet to approve the plan for Mount Carmel West in Columbus.

Husel worked at Mount Carmel from 2013-2018. The Ohio Medical Board since suspended his medical license and threatened further discipline.

After firing Husel, Mount Carmel placed 30 employees on administrative leave, including all members of its clinical leadership. The hospital also reported 48 employees, including 18 who no longer work at the hospital, to the state nursing and pharmacy boards.

At least 27 families filed wrongful death lawsuits against Mount Carmel and Husel, who denied intentionally or negligently causing patients’ deaths. Several families have agreed to settle the suits with the hospital.

Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office is currently investigating.

If you have information to share about the Mount Carmel investigation, please contact WOSU at paige.pfleger@wosu.org.