Mission Hospital CMO Spensieri says he'll 'step away' after CMS cites Immediate Jeopardy

ASHEVILLE – Days after the federal government declared an Immediate Jeopardy situation, Mission Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Anthony Spensieri announced he would 'step away' from the position in an email to medical staff obtained by the Citizen Times.

Spensieri, 67, has held the position since November 2019, according to his LinkedIn account.

“As I reflect on the last 4 years at Mission Hospital, I am filled with gratitude for the collegial relationships and friendships that have ensued,” he wrote in a Feb. 8 email. He said that he was leaving the hospital to devote himself to his family’s needs.

"On March 1st I will step away from my role as CMO at Mission Hospital," Spensieri said. He did not immediately return a Feb. 16 Citizen Times call requesting comment.

Mission Hospital Chief Medical Officer Anthony Spensieri resigned days after the federal government declared immediate jeopardy.
Mission Hospital Chief Medical Officer Anthony Spensieri resigned days after the federal government declared immediate jeopardy.

"Dr. Anthony Spensieri announced his upcoming retirement after 38 years in healthcare. Dr. Spensieri has been with HCA Healthcare since 2012 and Chief Medical Officer for Mission Hospital since 2019. We are grateful for his excellent service to our hospital and our community," Mission Health spokesperson Nancy Lindell told the Citizen Times in a Feb. 16 statement.

More: Federal government declares 'immediate jeopardy' situation at Mission Hospital

“As CMO, Dr. Spensieri is leading hospital initiatives relating to quality improvement, patient safety and clinical effectiveness, working closely with hospital personnel and medical staff. Dr. Spensieri leads the clinical agenda and Culture of Safety,” his biography on the Mission Health website reads.

Over the past few years, news reports, hospital staff, patients and most recently federal and state regulators, have decried deteriorating quality of care at Mission, under his watch.

In December, gubernatorial candidate and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit, alleging that HCA failed to provide the level of care it agreed to when it bought the Mission Health system in 2019. Mission lawyers recently responded, denying Stein’s allegations.

On Feb. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services declared an Immediate Jeopardy situation at Mission Hospital, threatening its Medicare and Medicaid payments. A 384-page report obtained Feb. 15 by the Citizen Times detailing what led the federal government to make the declaration found that four patients died due to lapses at the hospital.

Mission Hospital in Asheville.
Mission Hospital in Asheville.

One week after the federal government declared Immediate Jeopardy, Spensieri sent his letter saying he would "step away" through Director of Medical Staff and Credentialing Brenda Shelton.

Prior to joining Mission, Spensieri held the same role at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, another HCA hospital.

No job listing has been posted on the Mission Health website as of Feb. 16.

More: 3 patients died at Mission Hospital due to missteps, federal government report reveals

More: HCA and Mission respond to lawsuit, denying breach of contract allegations; ask to dismiss

More: Mission Health medical director Hathaway leaves HCA in midst of patient, nurse complaints

Mitchell Black covers Buncombe County and health care for the Citizen Times. Email him at mblack@citizentimes.com or follow him on Twitter @MitchABlack. Please help support local journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Mission Hospital CMO Spensieri 'steps away' after Immediate Jeopardy