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Mercy Dr. Scarrow loses president title

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Following allegations of patient safety infractions and a federal investigation, Mercy Springfield Communities announced this morning Dr. Alan Scarrow is no longer president but will continue to work as a full-time neurosurgeon.

Jon Swope, Mercy central region president, will continue to hold the role in an interim capacity. Mercy Springfield Communities stretches from Lebanon to Berryville, Arkansas, according to a news release.

Amid reports of patient abuse by some staff members at Mercy Hospital Springfield, the health system implemented an interim leadership team in September led by Swope. Scarrow, president of Mercy Springfield Communities since 2015, was not included on the list.

The release indicated Swope will continue as interim president of Mercy Springfield Communities “for the foreseeable future” in addition to his role as president of Mercy’s central region. Spokeswoman Sonya Kullmann provided a statement indicating the health system plans to eventually fill the top job permanently.

“After thoughtful discernment and in consideration of the future of Mercy Springfield Communities, we determined it was time for a leadership change,” the statement reads.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last month released a 105-page report detailing incidents at Mercy Hospital Springfield that led to a dozen staff members being fired, the interim team being installed and the hospital being at risk of losing its Medicare agreement. In four cases, according to the report, hospital officials allegedly failed to prevent abuse or neglect, remove staff members after allegations and adequately investigate allegations in a timely manner, according to CMS.

The CMS investigation followed two lawsuits totaling $63 million that Mercy Springfield Communities paid earlier this year to settle health care fraud and negligence claims.

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