New CEO up for challenge after Tennessee hospital loses Medicare contract

CMS terminated its provider agreement with Jamestown (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center on June 12, but the hospital's new CEO is taking steps to keep the facility open.

Jamestown Regional has faced financial challenges in recent months after transitioning to a new billing company. West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Rennova Health, which owns Jamestown Regional, said mistakes made at the hospital during the switch to the new billing company in December 2018 also caused other problems, including the decision by CMS to terminate the 85-bed hospital's Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The hospital's federal reimbursement was cut off two days after Michael Alexander began serving as CEO. When he accepted the job, neither he nor Rennova knew CMS was terminating the hospital's provider agreement.

"I walked into a firestorm, I think," he told local TV station WATE. "Trying to figure out where we are and what direction we need to go."

Mr. Alexander is trying to get the hospital's Medicare and Medicaid funding reinstated and keep the facility's doors open in the meantime. 

"I enjoy a challenge, and this is sure going to test that," he told WATE. "I enjoy going somewhere that needs help and trying to provide it. I'm not saying I'm the answer. I'm not saying I'm going to fix everything here. I'm just saying I'm going to pick up a shovel and start digging too."

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