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PPMH is Under Investigation

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March 25, 2004

Albany-The State Department of Community Health is investigating whether or not the Phoebe Imaging Center on Meredyth Drive is properly licensed to use a 1.3 million dollar open M-R-I unit. Jim Hobson, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital vice president claims "At the time, we were certainly of the understanding that all the things we were doing were in conformity to the state rules and processes."

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Albany's largest medical provider is now scrambling for official proof that they were given approval by the state to operate the advanced machine. "Finding a hard copy signed document is something that we haven't been able to locate," explains Ed Cassity, senior vice president and chief strategist for PPMH.

Penalties for operating unlicensed equipment could include fines and a cease of operations, but Phoebe administrators are voluntarily shutting down the Imaging center's Open M-R-I unit starting tomorrow as the state continues it's investigation. Hobson says "We're in the process of contacting all of the patients to make sure they're aware of where to come for the service and are continuing to provide the quality of care that they need."

Phoebe Administrators say if the investigation concludes the imaging center is not properly licensed, they will continue to persue the Certification of Needs approval needed to operate the open M-R-I unit. Until then, they're just hopeful the issue will be resolved soon. "We've done this voluntarily so we don't know if the state may come back and say we appreciate it we've gone through the process. There's every opportunity that you may begin providing services again fairly quickly," says Hobson.

All operations, with the exception of the open M-R-I unit at the Phoebe Imaging center will continue as usual. M-R-I patients will be referred to the main Phoebe Putney campus on Second Avenue where another open M-R-I unit will be used.

Posted by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com at 5:48 pm.