Home health care program in Sedgwick County suspended

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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) -

Federal regulators have ordered Via Christi Health in Wichita to suspend a senior care program because of "severe" deficiencies.

The program, Via Christi HOPE, is designed to help senior citizens in Sedgwick County stay in their homes by offering a complete health care plan involving primary care, specialists and nurses.

The Joplin Globe reports the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said program should not enroll new clients because it was not providing participants with medically necessary services.

During an audit in August, regulators found problems that hurt patients' health, a failure to determine if patients could safely live at home, and a pattern of home health aides not showing up for scheduled visits.

Spokesman Johnny Smith Jr. said the health system is working to address the auditors' findings.

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