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Calhoun-Liberty Hospital Faces $45k Fine After Death Of Blountstown Woman

Calhoun-Liberty Hospital

The Calhoun-Liberty Hospital is facing a fine of up to $45,000. The fine comes after a state healthcare agency found 10 deficiencies at the hospital following the death of a Blountstown woman in December. The facility is trying to correct those deficiencies to meet its deadline.

Barbara Dawson died in December after being discharged and forcibly removed from the Calhoun Liberty Hospital. She had complained of trouble breathing and had a blood clot in her lungs. The Agency for Healthcare Administration recently found 10 deficiencies at the facility. Spokeswoman Sandi Poreda says the hospital received the administrative complaintlate Wednesday and is figure out how to proceed with the fines:

“We are going to do whatever we need to do to keep the hospital open. It is a critical healthcare point for residents of Calhoun and Liberty counties. The community needs the hospital and the hospital needs the community," she said.

Poreda says Calhoun-Liberty hospital is addressing the findings, and looking for an emergency physician who can train hospital staff in order to fulfill its corrective plan. But its a challenge.

“You’re talking about a doctor who doesn’t work for the hospital contracting to come in on his/her schedules. These aren’t short trainings, they’re expensive and it takes time to complete them. But we are working with very supportive partners in the medical community and they’re working hard to help us meet that deadline.”

The hospital has to lay out a correction plan to the state by Friday. It has to have all the deficiencies corrected by March first or lose state Medicaid funding, a significant portion of its budget.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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