Cherry Hospital loses federal funds for patients

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- The state mental hospital where a patient died after caretakers left him sitting in a chair for 22 hours can no longer receive federal funds.

State officials said Thursday that a decision of federal regulators to decertify Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro will keep it from receiving $800,000 a month in Medicaid and Medicare treatment dollars.

The announcement was expected. The state Department of Health and Human Services said 10 days ago inspectors would recommend decertification to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

State mental health division co-director Leza Wainwright said the state has hired an Ohio firm to help the hospital fix the problems and get it re-certified.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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