City of Pineville takes control of Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center

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PINEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Update 10:00 p.m.

During a speech, Mayor Scott Madon told hundreds of people gathered in front of the hospital that the facility is now under new ownership.

City officials in Pineville say Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center was dangerously close to shutting down.

Employees have not been paid in about eight weeks and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services no longer work with the hospital.

Monday, the hospital found new ownership.

"Local folks will now be making decisions on this hospital", said Pineville Mayor Scott Madon in front of a crowd of people out front of the hospital.

Madon says people in the community should feel a renewed sense of confidence with the hospital under new ownership.

Employees here, many of whom have gone about eight weeks without a paycheck, say they are thankful for this move.

"Last couple of weeks, we've received gift cards for gas and food and then Reid Long and Dr. Dubin gave us gift cards to Pic Pak", said Gale Smith, who has been an RN at the hospital for 48 years. "And then this today, seeing the community, friends, family, patients, it's just awesome."

While under previous ownership, just about all of the departments shut down. Only the emergency room is still operational.

And to make matters worse, contracts with Medicare and Medicaid were terminated.

"Without Medicare, Medicaid, we can't operate because 75% of our revenue is generated through Medicare and Medicaid", said Madon.

With little revenue coming into the hospital, officials say they will have to lay off about 60 employees of the nearly 120 that still remain.

"When Medicare and Medicaid get reinstated, we'll be able to start hiring quite a few more back", said Madon. "That's how we put people in the hospital, that's how we have our additional services."

With new and now local ownership, Madon says the best thing people in the community can do is support the hospital.

"If you go to your primary care physician, you have a right to ask to get your labs done at Pineville hospital, get your x-rays done at Pineville hospital", said Madon.

The goal now is to make sure all employees get back pay, get Medicaid and Medicare services back, and reopen all of the departments that have been previously shut down.

"Hopefully one day, my unit, ICU, will be reopened. I'm an old ICU nurse, 49 years. Hopefully, psych will open and the nursing home and bring some of our former employees of the nursing home back", said Smith.

As of Monday, the hospital was renamed Pineville Community Healthcare.

Madon says city officials are working on another partnership, one that would help restore more of the services to the hospital and would likely help restore Medicare and Medicaid services to the hospital.

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The mayor of Pineville announced the future of the Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center Monday.

During a speech, Mayor Scott Madon told hundreds of people gathered in front of the hospital that the facility is now under new ownership.

The hospital is now known as Pineville Community Healthcare. Madon announced that the City of Pineville acquired the hospital from the previous ownership group. The agreement was finalized Monday afternoon.

For months, the previous ownership group ran into financial hardships, which resulted in employees not getting paid. 

City officials said people in the community and workers at the hospital should feel confident in the new direction of the hospital, and its ability to provide reliable healthcare to people in the region.

"One of the things that we have done to secure that the back-pay will be paid to these employees is for all the accounts receivable that comes in after 5:01 today will go to pay the employees back-pay," said Madon.

Madon said there are partnerships that city officials are working on. He could not comment on the specifics yet, but he said these partnerships are expected to come together within the next few weeks. He said they will bring additional, new services to the hospital.



 
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