State spending millions to upgrade Osawatomie State Hospital

(KSN File Photo)

OSAWATOMIE, Kansas (AP) – Kansas is spending millions of dollars to rehab one of its two psychiatric hospitals to avoid the loss of federal Medicare and Medicaid funds that make up about one-fourth of the facility’s $26 million budget.

The Kansas City Star reports Osawatomie State Hospital an hour south of Kansas City is replacing patient beds and mattresses, installing new bathroom fixtures and making other changes after an inspection in late January raised concerns about patient safety.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services spokeswoman Angela de Rocha says it will cost the state about $3 million to bring the hospital into compliance on top of costs it already has incurred.

It’s the second time in recent months that federal regulators have threatened to take away the facility’s Medicare and Medicaid funding.

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