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Juan Luis Hospital ‘Fully Certified’ By CMS For Medicare and Medicaid Funding


Board Chairman Troy de Chabert-Schuster

CHRISTIANSTED – For the first time in more than four years the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center is free of the threat of decertification by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The news came January 1 and those in attendance gave the hospital’s leadership a standing ovation at a board meeting in the Cardiac Center on Monday after passing the weeklong surprise inspection by CMS.

“I am overjoyed. I congratulate Dr. (Ken) Okolo and the executive team and the entire staff of Luis Hospital,” board chairman Troy de Chabert-Schuster told the Virgin Islands Daily News. “I look forward to us moving into a period of sustainability and continued improvement in the delivery of health care.”

Okolo is the acting chief executive officer of the Juan Luis Hospital and Medical Center in Estate Diamond.

The CMS ended its inspection of St. Croix’s only hospital on Dec. 11. If it had failed to be “fully certified,” it risked being reimbursed for Medicare and Medicaid patients at the facility.

The Luis Hospital has been under the threat of decertification since 2011 when CMS gave it time to improve basic care conditions at the medical facility so that it could participate financially in federal medical programs.

ken okolo 2

JFL Hospital CEO Ken Oranefo Okolo

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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