Joan Rivers Clinic Will Lose Medicare Coverage: Feds

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The Manhattan clinic where Joan Rivers suffered severe brain damage during an August medical procedure will lose federal funding at the end of January, U.S. officials have decided.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has notified Yorkville Endoscopy that the clinic no longer meets the conditions for coverage for a facility that offers outpatient surgical care. Consequently, CMS will terminate its benefits agreement with Yorkville on Jan. 31.

The clinic released a response Monday through publicist Marcia Horowitz: "We are continuing to work with all regulatory bodies. We intend to communicate with CMS and appropriate authorities to have the decision reversed. Yorkville continues to be a licensed facility and perform procedures while cooperating with the regulatory process."

The fatal brain damage Rivers suffered Aug. 28 during a throat-scope procedure was caused by a lack of oxygen. Workers at the clinic "failed to identify deteriorating vital signs and provide timely intervention," investigators at the New York Department of Health and Human Services previously determined.


-- Bill Briggs and Pei-Sze Cheng