More financial problems at Knox Co. Hospital

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

After years of financial problems at Knox County Hospital, the county is stepping in.

On Tuesday, the Knox County Fiscal Court voted to dissolve the current hospital lease with Cumberland Pacer.

The court plans to bring in a new management group to get the hospital ready to sell.

This comes just days after many employees at Knox County Hospital could not cash their paychecks.

"Right now this is the number one priority on the fiscal courts list. It's important to insure the workers of the hospital that we can continue, and we need a hospital in our community to save lives," said Judge Executive J.M. Hall.

Since Cumberland Pacer took over in 2009, financial problems have plagued the hospital that employees close to 300 people.

"We have done the things that we have to do to keep the hospital going, and it's been a chore," said CEO Craig Morgan.

But after a unanimous fiscal court vote, they are in transition. A new management group is coming in with hopes to sell the hospital in the future.

After the meeting on Tuesday, CEO Craig Morgan was served with a restraining order saying that all hospital assets and records must be preserved.

"The judge signed a restraining order just to protect our assets before we go in and take over," said Judge Executive Hall.

The restraining order also mentions issues with the IRS. The CEO says they currently owe $800,000 as well as penalties and interest.

"There was issues on the tax withholding. We met wit the IRS two weeks ago, and they are very understanding and they are working with us on that," said CEO Morgan.

Morgan says he believes these issues can be resolved with the county before March 29th.

The fiscal court unanimously voted for the measure.

It's still in litigation in the court system.

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