An Eastern Kentucky hospital has been fighting for two years to keep their status as a Sole Community provider. Pikeville Medical Center employees now have their answer and say they knew how much was at stake for the hospital and for their patients.
Employees at Pikeville Medical Center are breathing a sigh of relief. The federal government says they will keep their status as the Sole Community provider in their region.
"If we had not kept the status, we would have lost between 5 to 6 million dollars a year," said Pikeville Medical Center CEO Joann Anderson.
But it's not just about the budget. Without that revenue, many programs that don't make a profit but make a difference in the community would have been at stake, like the addiction service unit.
"We won't have to be turning people away on our detox floor. It's a very valuable asset to the community because there are not many detox units here, let alone medical detox," said Director of Addiction Services Nell Johnson.
"We know that we lose about a million dollars a year on that service alone, so for us to go forward and keep that service in place, we need the additional revenues coming in," said Anderson.
And now that the present is secure, employees say they're ready to start looking ahead.
"It lets me know that there will be more money out there as we find new things and new procedures that need to be done for our local community here," said Melisa Wallace, Director of Radiology.
"In the critical care, we've have planned to do some expansion and build on for some time now, and now it's going to become a reality," said Rich Pinson, Director of Critical Care.
Employees say the best part is knowing that they will keep the money for all the services they say this region can't afford to lose.
CEO Joann Anderson says the hospital had millions of dollars in new services and construction projects on the line while they were waiting to find out about the status, but now they are looking forward to moving ahead with those plans.