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Bankruptcy filing affects Pioneer Community Hospital

Pioneer Health Services, the parent company of Pioneer Community Hospital in Scott County, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move that impacts services offered at the facility that has been in operation since 2013.

The Chapter 11 filing was described by ownership as a means to “stabilize operations and insure long term viability.” Chapter 11 bankruptcy signifies a business has proposed a plan to reorganize and pay debtors over a period of time.

While the bankruptcy filing does not indicate the facility will be facing a closure, it does signify several significant changes in the day-to-day operations.

The Independent Herald reports the patient floor will be closing, thus closing off new patient admissions.

The Emergency Room will continue to operate, as will same-day surgery, laboratory and diagnostics and other services. With no new patients being admitted, emergency room patients who normally would be admitted to the facility following ER treatment would have to be transferred to other hospitals after their initial care was completed.

At least 30 employees from the Scott County location have reportedly been notified their jobs would be eliminated as a result of the restructuring.

Pioneer agreed to a contract with the Scott County Commission guaranteeing that the facility would be operated as an acute hospital for 10 years. The news of the bankruptcy would not constitute a violation of that contract since it will remain open and offer services.

In addition to the Scott County facility, operations at hospitals in Danbury, North Carolina, Aberdeen, Mississippi, and Stuart, Virginia as well as Pioneer Health Services, Inc., and Medicomp, Inc. will be affected, but business is expected to continue at those operations with reduced staff as well.

The hospital has had a troubled history over the past several years.

Formally known as Scott County Hospital, the facility closed in May 2012 after the ownership group Mercy Health Partners opted not to renew their lease with Scott County.

For more than a year operations were shut down until Pioneer reached an agreement with the county on a ten-year lease. Doors reopened in December of 2013.

Since then Pioneer has had difficulty obtaining a Medicare Provider Number that would allow for Kentucky-based patients to have easier access to the hospital.

The facility has added several services and doctors since the reopening.

Also, this week it was learned the IRS had filed a federal tax lien against the Oneida facility for more than $500,000 for unpaid taxes.

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