not out of bankruptcy, but we have settled with the USDA,” Hospital Administrator J.D. Mullins told
the Clinton County News. “We
no longer owe them almost $18 million, but we now owe them $8.465
million. . . . This
is no guarantee that the hospital will flourish, but it does give us a
fighting chance. We’re not closing any time soon.”
Mullins said the settlement could make the hospital more attractive to a buyer. However, conditions set by the hospital board could pose obstacles. The USDA loan was used to expand and modernize the hospital in the county of 10,000 on the Tennessee border south of Lake Cumberland. The project was completed in 2008.
The hospital has blamed its problems on federal budget cuts and changes in Medicare and Medicaid, which provide more than 80 percent of the hospital’s revenue — particularly the managed-care companies that oversee Medicaid. “These companies’ polices have restricted access to the hospital’s services and reduced our reimbursement even more,” Mullins told the newspaper.