The Florida State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has issued a statement regarding the investigation into the Calhoun Liberty Hospital following the death of Barbara Dawson.
Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration reprimanded the hospital Thursday after an investigation that stemmed from the death of a woman at the facility.
The investigation found 10 deficiencies at the hospital. Those include patient rights and care, emergency services, and patient grievance analysis.
The investigation began after media reports about a death at the hospital, according to a HCA spokeswoman. Although Dawson's name is not used in the report the circumstances of the incident are clearly part of the investigation released to the public.
In January Dawson was discharged from the hospital but she refused to leave. She was escorted to the parking lot by a law enforcement officer but collapsed on the ground. Dawson was then re-admitted to the hospital but died as doctors attempted to treat her.
Dawson's family is suing the hospital.
"In the wake of the tragic and totally unnecessary death of Barbara Dawson, who sought medical assistance at that facility in December of 2015 the actions announced (Thursday) represent a major step forward by State Health Officials to insure that all the citizens of Calhoun and Liberty Counties can receive the best and most appropriate medical assistance possible when they go to the hospital," NAACP officials wrote in a news release. "Barbara Dawson’s death while in the care of Calhoun-Liberty Hospital is a direct result of the failure of the hospital to provide services in accordance with State law and reasonable medical guidelines."
Officials added that Dawson's death was avoidable and inexcusable.
"The directives provided in the ACHA Findings with respect to the Hospital are a testament to the Hospital’s failure to carry out its responsibilities in accordance with the Hippocratic oath to remember that they treat human beings and not merely medical charts or financial transactions," they wrote. "We will vigilantly monitor the Calhoun –Liberty Hospital response to insure that they are committed to fully serving the needs of all the residents of Calhoun and Liberty Counties in a fair and equitable manner and in full accord with their legal, ethical and moral obligations.
We implore Calhoun-Liberty Hospital to commit to cure itself, so that it can work honestly and earnestly to cure its patients."
Hospital officials have until March 1 to correct the deficiencies noted by the investigation. If they do not they will no longer be able to participate in Medicaid. Also, fines will be assessed against the hospital but officials have not yet released further details about those fines.
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