The federal government will terminate Medicare reimbursements to Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) next month.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the June 12 termination date on Tuesday through a letter to Interim CEO Dr. Angel Giraldez.
Fentress County Executive Jimmy Johnson said despite the news, Rennova Health Systems intends to keep the hospital open.
“I’ve tried to convince them the last month if they can’t operate it, [they should] consider selling it,” Johnson said. “The owner has dug in pretty well, and he has no intent to sell the hospital. I don’t know what might happen now that this other stuff has come up, but I’m trying to get back with him to find out something.”
According to the CMS letter, JRMC has failed to maintain compliance with Conditions of Participation in the Medicare Program. The hospital may re-enter the Medicare Program by providing CMS with reasonable assurance of its capacity to achieve and sustain compliance with its requirements.
A statement from a CMS spokesperson says officials began investigating the Jamestown hospital in February after receiving complaints of unpaid bills and payroll checks. That investigation ultimately found that the hospital owed 165 vendors nearly $3 million and 11 vendors had discontinued services for failure to pay accounts.
Johnson said the hospital will offer some services in a limited capacity as its future remains unknown.
“If they can get their feet back on the ground to operate it sufficiently like it needs to be, the doctors here in town are willing to come back and work in the hospital,” Johnson said. “But it has to be run sufficiently with plenty of supplies and hopefully that will happen.”
CMS does not have the authority to close JRMC as the decision would have to come from Rennova Health Systems.