Parent firm of Medical Center at Bowling Green takes over bankrupt Albany hospital, adding to its regional network

Commonwealth Health Corp. has assumed management of Clinton County Hospital effective immediately,” Alyssa Harvey reports for the Bowling Green Daily News. The parent firm of The Medical Center at Bowling Green plans to complete its acquisition of the Albany hospital, which has been in bankruptcy, in March. After that it will be called The Medical Center at Albany.

The company also has acquired and given similar names to the old Caverna Memorial Hospital in Horse Cave and similar facilities in Franklin and Scottsville. The Albany hospital is the greatest distance from Bowling Green, 88 miles. It is in a county of 10,000 on the Tennessee border south of Lake Cumberland.

CHC Vice President Doris Thomas said, “We know how important community hospitals are and how important it is to have good quality health care close to home, so we’re happy to provide this to the residents of Clinton County. Acquiring the Clinton County Hospital will help us further our mission.”

J.D. Mullins, former administrator of the 42-bed hospital, told Harvey that it has been housing 13 to 17 patients a day and treating about 16 per day in its emergency department. It recently converted one floor to a skilled nursing facility.

The hospital has blamed its problems on federal budget cuts and changes in Medicare and Medicaid, which provide more than 80 percent of the hospital’s revenue — particularly the managed-care companies that oversee Medicaid. It was also burdened by a nearly $18 million debt on a federal loan it used to expand and modernize in 2008. The Department of Agriculture forgave just over half the debt last summer.

The move continues a round of consolidations involving rural hospitals in Southern Kentucky. TJ Samson Community Hospital of Glasgow is buying the bankrupt Westlake Regional Hospital in Columbia. A study by the state auditor’s office last year said as many as one-third of Kentucky’s rural hospitals are in financial trouble.

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