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Braden Health plans to buy, reopen more rural hospitals in Tennessee

Braden Health, which operates a network of hospitals across the U.S., plans to buy more struggling or closed rural hospitals in Tennessee, according to News Channel 5.

The hospital operator, which specializes in reopening rural healthcare facilities and trying to make them profitable again, recently announced plans to buy Decatur County General Hospital in Parsons, Tenn. The deal will restore services at Decatur County General, which temporarily closed in March 2020. 

The hospital operator told News Channel 5 that the Decatur hospital deal is just the beginning of reopening rural hospitals statewide.

Braden Health has already purchased three other hospitals in Tennessee. Braden Health helped avert the closure of two hospitals, one in Henderson County and one in Houston County. The third hospital it purchased in Haywood County could reopen as early as October. 

Kyle Kopec, chief compliance officer at Braden Health, told the publication that it is pursuing purchase agreements for more rural hospitals in the state but declined to elaborate on which one was next.

The company's strategy to turn around the struggling hospitals includes making sure hospitals are reimbursed properly for services provided. Braden Health said this means convincing insurers that having a local hospital in rural communities will save them more money over having patients travel far to receive care.

"A lot of hospitals will run into issues with being reimbursed," Mr. Kopec told News Channel 5. "Decatur, when it closed, had huge issues with obtaining reimbursements, which, Braden Health, through its years of expertise and knowledge just doesn't have."

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