Pineville Community Hospital providing services again
Employees started the day on Thursday packing their thing and wondering if the hospital would ever open again.
"I'm a transcriptionist and I've got twenty-something years of notes and things. Plus, of course, my grandbabies' pictures were here," said employee, Nettie Philpot.
That was a feeling several employees expressed as they loaded their vehicles.
Their only hope was that they could bring the items back soon. That hope was realized on Thursday at around 3 p.m.
That is when hospital administration called the employees back into work at the emergency room.
"There has been a tremendous amount of work for us to be able to get the quality care here restored," said hospital CEO, Kevin Couch.
Couch said the administration worked tirelessly around the clock to find ways to open the hospital doors.
Couch added the City of Pineville was working with an investment group to be able to open the hospital again until new ownership comes in.
"We are continuing to work with the OIG and CMS and we are looking forward to the Medicare numbers being restored," Couch said.
Congressman Hal Rogers released a statement regarding the situation with the Pineville Hospital.
“Despite the interruption of healthcare services at Pineville Community Hospital, I have worked to facilitate communications between hospital officials, necessary federal agencies and the City of Pineville for several months, and those conversations will continue. Rural hospitals often face difficult challenges to keep their doors open, but the people of Pineville can rest assured that every resource will be exhausted to ensure local residents will have access to medical services as we continue to work toward a sustainable resolution.”
Friends and family members joined with Pineville Community Hospital staff to line up in protest Wednesday.
Between 20 and 40 protesters stood outside the hospital at noon and have been out there all afternoon, holding up signs asking to "please help save our hospital" and saying "PCH loves their community patients!"
State Representative Adam Bowling was present, along with Mayor Scott Madon, the city council and other city and county officials.
Tuesday, we reported that the
stating it had put up as much money as it could but could not afford to operate the hospital daily.
Protestors said they understand the city did everything it could, but they still need other officials to step up and do their part.
"If the government, and local politicians, and C.M.S. come together and sit down on one table, find a way to stay open, we can survive," said Dr. Wigna Kumar.
Protestors said they would be happy if another entity came in and bought the hospital. They wanted answers on the future of the hospital and its new ownership.
State Representative for the 87th District Adam Bowling was also in attendance at the protest, alongside the employees and local officials.
"Now today there is more uncertainty. It looks like another group had the highest bid," said Adam Bowling. "Everybody is wondering, when is that group going to come get on the ground, get some money to help keep up the day to day operations and take over the hospital."
There was an official winning bid from Cura Healthcare, Inc. Wednesday evening for $7 million.
However, the future of the hospital remains unclear at this point.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, hospital administration said, "The Pineville Community Health Center will no longer be providing Emergency Room services or other services after 7:00 p.m. on August 7, 2019."
We will continue to continue to update this story as we get new information.