The Pineville Community Health Care Board voted Wednesday afternoon to close the facility formerly known as the Pineville Community Hospital as of 7 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 7).
This was due to the lack of funds to operate the facility and continue to pay employees. Emergency room doctors notified the board that due to non payment they would not be able to keep the Emergency room open which has triggered the closing.
At 5:35pm WRIL was given a statement by email from the hospital in regard to the issue after they spoke to the Office of Inspector General who let them know that in order to facilitate a closure they would have to follow certain protocols. The hospital states that:
"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."
Cura Healthcare Inc won the highest bid in purchasing the hospital, but has until Friday August 16, 2019 to make payment in full.
With this stoppage of service, people in the area will have to travel to the closest hospitals which are Middlesboro ARH to the south or Barbourville ARH to the north.
The city of Pineville had been funding the hospital over the past few months, but decided earlier this week they could no longer borrow money to keep the facility operational.
It was learned on Monday that the hospital would not be passing the OIG inspection needed to have its Medicare number reinstated. Without an active Medicare number the hospital is unable to collect reimbursements for its services from not only Medicare and Medicaid, but also other private insurance companies. Without funding from the city, the hospital was unable to continue paying $5,000 per day to keep the emergency room open.
U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers contacted the Pineville Sun late Wednesday evening and said he was working to try and facilitate a solution.
“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.”