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Medicare/Medicaid agreement once again pulled

From WRIL -

After weeks of intense negotiation to keep the Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center open culminating in what looked like an agreement between everyone involved, it appears to have been derailed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Atlanta.


WRIL has learned that the termination of services notice from May 15th - that had been stayed for ten days while the hospital and City of Pineville were working diligently - was officially pulled late Friday afternoon. As of Friday the 24th CMS will not cover anyone admitted to the hospital with Medicare/Medicaid backing.


One of the sticking points had been the presence of former Americore Health, LLC president Grant White in the mix. The CMS was not willing to work with the hospital while White had anything to do with it, but it appeared last week that a bankruptcy judge and lawyers for both sides agreed on a third party to operate the facility while a permanent organization was found. The agreement effectively kept White out of the day-to-day operation and had the assets he controlled taken out from under his thumb.


In the notice from the 15th the CMS cited that the hospital did not meet the conditions of preparation for governing body, quality assessment and performance improvement, or nursing services.


On Friday May 24th the hospital was paying employees with cashiers checks for them to cover shifts. These are the same employees that are now going on week eight without their regular pay.


We have learned that the employees have had to sign an agreement in order to get the cashiers checks, but if they were to quit they would have to give the money back because essentially it was a loan. Just for the record, this "loan" was on money they had already earned and that the hospital had not paid them for.


What the next step is now is unknown, but we expect to update shortly.

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