Call to action issued

The Patrick County Board of Supervisors and the Patrick County Economic Development Authority issued a call to residents, asking them to contact federal representatives regarding the Pioneer Hospital of Patrick.

The hospital closed in September, after filing bankruptcy in March 2016.

Potential buyers currently are negotiating with bankruptcy officials to buy the hospital, according to a release issued Friday by Debbie Foley, director of economic development. Time is of the essence, the release stated. And noted the last few weeks have not been without setbacks.

The Virginia Department of Health issued a variance on the license designating the hospital as an Acute Care Hospital, basically extending that license to Dec. 31.

However, the county was less fortunate with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and on Oct. 18 received notice the CMS had terminated the CMS Certification Number and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation, according to the release.

“To say that this constitutes a major setback is an understatement,” Foley wrote in the release.

Noting the CAH designation translates into revenue, Foley wrote that without it “the value of the hospital drops drastically, seriously jeopardizing not only a potential sale, but the timely reopening.”

In anticipation of the hospital reopening, county and other officials representing the bankruptcy have requested a reinstatement or even a suspension of the designation as opposed to the termination, the release stated.

However, “requirements for this CAH designation have changed in the past few years and it is highly unlikely the hospital would regain” the designation.

In light of that, county and EDA officials urge residents and others to contact federal representatives, asking them to lobby the CMS on the county’s behalf and request that the CAH designation is either suspended or reinstated.

To get involved, contact:

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, (202) 224-4024; or the Roanoke office at (540) 682-5693;

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, (202) 224-2023 or in Roanoke, (540) 857-2676;

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, (202) 225-3861 or in Christiansburg, (540)-381-5671.

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