How a rural Alabama town helped save its hospital

Haleyville, Ala.-based Lakeland Community Hospital, previously on the brink of closure, continues to provide medical care to the region after involvement by staff and community, as well as city and county government, according to Bridge Magazine.

The 59-bed facility was scheduled to shut down by the end of 2017 due to lower reimbursements, but the closure was delayed while city and county leaders worked to keep the hospital afloat.

"Our community had to have medical care. It could mean life or death," Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri told Bridge.

Efforts to keep the hospital open included concerns expressed by local residents following the 2017 closure announcement, as well as a transfer of hospital ownership from now bankrupt Clinton, Tenn.-based Curae Health to the Haleyville and Winston County Hospital Authority.

City leaders also approved a 1-cent sales tax in December 2017 to go toward the hospital authority and help pay hospital debt.

Additionally, Winston County commissioners approved  a property tax increase to support Lakeland, according to Bridge.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Java Medical Group became operator of the facility and reportedly incurred some of its debt. Franklin, Tenn.-based health IT business Medhost became responsible for the hospital's business functions, and some hospital employees stepped in to help with staffing when workers left the facility in 2018 amid the closure plans.

Read the full report here.

 

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