The information below comes from the statement of deficiencies compiled by health inspectors and provided to AHCJ by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It does not include the steps the hospital plans to take to fix the problem, known as a plan of correction. For that information, you should contact the hospital, your state health department or CMS. Accessing the document may require you to file a Freedom of Information Request. Information on doing so is available here.

HOULTON REGIONAL HOSPITAL 20 HARTFORD STREET HOULTON, ME 04730 Dec. 12, 2013
VIOLATION: COMPLIANCE FED, ST, AND LOCAL LAWS AND REGS Tag No: C0812
Based on policy review, file review and interviews with key personnel on December 12, 2013, it was determined that the facility failed to follow applicable Federal laws and regulations related to the health and safety of patients.

Findings include:

1. 42 CFR 482.13(a)(2)(ii) [The hospital must establish a process for prompt resolution of patient grievances and must inform each patient whom to contact to file a grievance. The hospital ' s governing body must approve and be responsible for the effective operation of the grievance process, and must review and resolve grievances, unless it delegates the responsibility in writing to a grievance committee.] The grievance process must specify time frames for review of the grievance and the provision of a response.

a. The facility policy 'processing of physician related complaints' , part of the hospital's complaint and grievance policy & procedure, lacked evidence of a time frame for review and response to the patient grievance/complaint against a physician at the hospital.

b. This finding was confirmed by the Quality Manager an the Director of Outpatient Services & Regulatory Compliance on December 12, 2013 at approximately 11:00 AM.

c. The facility 'Complaint and Grievance Policy & Procedure' indicated that 'if for any reason the investigation shall take longer than seven (7) days, the manager shall be responsible for contacting the complainant via telephone to inform them that there will be a delay and this conversation must be documented'.

d. Review of the facility grievance log indicated that the complainant voiced his/her complaint on October 20, 2013, and a response was sent to the complainant with the results of the investigation on November 20, 2013. There was no documentation to indicate that the complainant was notified on day seven to express that the investigation would take longer than seven (7) days.

e. Both of these findings were confirmed by the Quality Manager an the Director of Outpatient Services & Regulatory Compliance on December 12, 2013 at approximately 10:30 AM.