CMS suspends termination of Medicare agreement with SKMC

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has suspended the termination process of the agreement between Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center (formerly known as Pineville Community Hospital) and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, as a provider of the Medicare program.

“CMS has suspended the termination process while the city continues negotiations,” said Pineville Mayor Scott Madon on Thursday. “Meanwhile, the hospital is in full operations. We actually performed 10 surgeries yesterday and are continuing to do so today.”

The announcement from the mayor is welcomed news after a tumultuous time for the hospital. Just a week ago, the Pineville City Council had an emergency meeting to give Madon permission to gather information about the hospital’s dire situation and seek approval from the bankruptcy court.

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“Guys, we’ve got a decision to make,” said Madon during last week’s meeting. “We can either step in to try and prop (the hospital) up until we can get somebody to run it, or we can let them close it in the next few days. I personally don’t want to see that. I don’t think any of you all do, but we run a major risk.”

It was during that meeting that the mayor said Grant White with Americore Health, LLC had agreed to negotiate terms for surrendering the Certificate of Need for the hospital to the city.

On Wednesday, an announcement made by CMS stated the agreement between SKMC and the Secretary of Health and Human Services was going to be terminated.

According to a public notice sent out by the department, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services determined that the hospital is not in compliance with the Conditions of Participation and would not make payment for hospital services to patients who are admitted after Wednesday.

The conditions the hospital did not meet included: governing body, quality assessment and performance improvement, and nursing services.