Rural Kentucky hospital loses city funding

Pineville (Ky.) Community Healthcare will no longer receive city funding, according to the Middlesboro Daily News.

Pineville officials said auction company Tranzon's decision to delay bidding in the auctioning of the hospital was a contributing factor in its decision to pull funding, according to TV station WYMT.

"It takes a lot of money to operate the hospital daily," Pineville City Council member Ben Madon told the station. "We can't keep operating the hospital without any further assurances that we will have further funding or be able to own the hospital."

Pineville Community Healthcare, formerly called Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center, was owned and operated by the Pineville Community Hospital Association until 2017, when it entered into an agreement with Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Americore Health. The hospital association owned the hospital real estate, but other assets were sold to Americore.

The hospital has struggled to keep its doors open and lost Medicare and Medicaid funding, prompting the city to take control of it after it was seized in bankruptcy, Pineville officials said.

City officials told Becker's that Pineville Mayor Scott Madon helped the hospital with decisions that allowed employees to receive money owed, the emergency room to stay open and all hospital certificates of need to stay active until the hospital's sale.

On July 30, the city said it decided to bid on the hospital "to protect the current assets and to continue to ensure the availability of quality healthcare for the general public."

But when the city found out it would not be the highest bidder and would not still operate the hospital, it decided Aug. 6 to cut off funds to the hospital.

City officials said they will continue to support the hospital, its employees and the community when a new owner takes over.



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