The Lompoc Healthcare District was created as a local government entity in 1946. The critical needs of wounded soldiers coming home from WWII were met. That was over 70 years ago. But managing a hospital in 2017 has become a much more complex challenge.
For years Lompoc hospital has been unable to achieve the quality of care provided by neighboring hospitals. LVMC’s below-average performance and poor reputation are no secrets.
CMS RATES LOMPOC BELOW AVERAGE
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gathers extensive data about patient care in CMS supported hospitals like Lompoc. The thousands of billing transactions provide CMS with comprehensive details about the treatment and outcome for each patient covered by CMS.
For 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 CMS rated LVMC below the national average for hospitals. LVMC is in the lower 15.7% of hospitals nationwide.
FIRE DEPT. UPPER 7% – LVMC LOWER 15.7%
Lompoc citizens can be proud of the Lompoc Fire Department, ranked in the upper 7% of fire departments nationwide. That’s good.
But Lompoc hospital is ranked in the lower 15.7% of hospitals nationwide. That’s not good.
HOSPITAL CEO HAPPY WITH 97% COMPLIANCE
The hospital’s CEO, Jim Raggio, commented in the Lompoc Record that he was happy that just 1 chart out of 33 was found deficient by CMS in February 2017.“1 chart out of 33 is 97 percent compliant. I know when I was in grammar school, high school and college when I got a 97 percent I was pretty happy with it.”
CMS DOESN’T ACCEPT 97% COMPLIANCE
Hospitals are entrusted with protecting and preserving life. Understandably, state and federal law holds hospitals to high standards, requiring 100% compliance. 97% compliance is unacceptable.
POTENTIALLY FATAL PATHOGENS AIRBORNE IN THE PHARMACY
Extremely serious deficiencies were found by CMS during the February 2017 Validation Survey. The hospital own records showed the hospital was harboring potentially fatal pathogens in its pharmacy. The pathogens were airborne in the pharmacy for a 1-year period. The hospital was careless or negligent when it failed to eradicate the dangerous microorganisms. That’s serious.
LVMC should have been fined but got off easy. Paradise Valley Hospital in National City, California, was hit with a $17,500 penalty for a similar violation.
486 AMBULANCE TRIPS TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL IN SANTA BARBARA COUNTY DURING 2016
Lompoc ER provides limited emergency care. In January 2017 a stabbing occurred less than a mile from the hospital at DJ’s Saloon, 724 East Ocean, Yet, the victim had to be taken by ambulance 30 miles to Marian since the doctors and staff at Lompoc are not qualified to treat stabbings. The patient could have been stabbed inside Lompoc hospital and the victim would still have to be taken by ambulance to Marian.
In 2016, Lompoc hospital ordered 486 ambulance trips to take Lompoc hospital patients to other hospitals in Santa Barbara county. What does that tell us?
DIGNITY OR COTTAGE WOULD DO BETTER
If a hospital with a better-proven track-record took over the hospital, better outcomes would be achieved. Cottage or Dignity would do better. Much better.
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