Tyree's death could lead to penalties for U of C hospital

April 14, 2011

Download Story
(Getty/Barry Brecheisen)
Conditions leading to James Tyree's death have put the UCMC's Medicare funding at risk.

The University of Chicago Medical Center could face major penalties from the federal government following the death of prominent businessman, James Tyree. The government is threatening to strip the hospital of its Medicare funding, following a medical error that resulted in Tyree’s death.

Tyree was chairman of the Chicago Sun-Times and CEO of Mesirow Financial. He died of complications when an air bubble entered his bloodstream after a dialysis catheter was removed.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found conditions at the hospital led to the mistake, and constituted an immediate threat to patient safety. An agency spokesman said the hospital has fixed the immediate problem, but some deeper organizational issues persist. Namely, the hospital must be able to prove staffers are fully trained in procedures like the one that went wrong for Tyree. The hospital has until June 20 to comply.

In a statement, Medical Center officials say they're working closely with the government to resolve the issue, and add that the relevant staff have proper training and experience.