Archived Story

Board develops plan to re-open, purchase Chilton Medical Center

Published 6:58pm Thursday, November 15, 2012

“I’ll be willing to stick my neck out on the line to support the hospital,” Welch said at the meeting.

Reynolds said the cost of the hospital property is difficult to determine because of a $4.5 million debt that has been accumulated, attorney’s fees and other considerations. However, an appraisal performed at the request of Sunlink earlier this year determined the physical property to be worth $1.3-1.65 million, he said.

Payton said at Wednesday’s meeting that operation of the hospital for one month would cost roughly $1 million. Reynolds said the board has at its discretion about $2 million, which also came from the original sale of the hospital.

At the time of the sale, the money was split into two trusts, one under the board’s control and the other under the commission’s control.

Clanton Hospital LLC, a subsidiary of Carraway Medical Systems Inc., most recently held the hospital’s license to operate and certificate of need. Clanton Hospital LLC has surrendered the hospital’s license to the state Department of Public Health, Reynolds said.

Chilton Medical’s license was suspended, effectively shutting down the facility, on Oct. 29 through an emergency order by state Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson, who said it was the first time in his 20 years in the position that he had taken such action.

At the time of the closing, a hearing was scheduled for Nov. 8 as a final opportunity for hospital officials to present a plan to the state showing the hospital could become financially viable and continue to provide safe patient care.

The hearing was cancelled the day before it was to take place because of developments related to the hospital’s ownership, officials said at the time.

Reynolds said the state is a willing partner in the hospital board’s plan to re-open the facility on a trial basis and said there are no foreseeable problems with the hospital’s license or certificate of need.

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