By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN – Rennova Health Systemstemporarily closed Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) Thursday, June 13. The closure was “due to the loss of participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and related supply issues” according to a statement posted on the door of the facility.
“We got to a point that we made a decision that it was safer for patients, as well as for our employees, that patients not take a chance coming here and us not have the adequate supplies, the appropriate medicines, or things they need to provide the care that they would normally expect here,” said Michael Alexander, JRMC’s new CEO.
Alexander, a career hospital administrator who recently served as chief operations officer at a Knoxville emergency room staffing company, took over as CEO of JRMC on Monday. He is optimistic about the hospital’s future.
“They were honest with me about what I was walking into,” Alexander said. “Truthfully, I’ve been to places that have struggled before and we’ve gotten through it and got it to a better place so it didn’t scare me away from the challenge. The challenge is large but I’m still optimistic that we can get through this. If I didn’t think we could, I would not have come.”
In addition to supply issues, the hospital is also dealing with a lapse in its medical liability insurance. According to Alexander the insurance is in the process of being renewed and should be effective in the next day or two.
Although the hospital is temporarily closed, not all staff members have been laid off.
“We will still have some functions that will carry on at the hospital,” said Alexander. “There’s some things that are necessary. If we were just going to lock up and leave, a lot of these things would not be necessary but with our intention to reopen shortly, there are things in the facility that need to be maintained…temperatures that need to be monitored. Oxygen gas systems that have to be monitored.”
The hospital’s business office will continue working throughout the shutdown as will a few of the clinical staff members.
“Staff will be significantly reduced for the time being,” added Alexander. “But as we get ready to reopen, we will call them back.”
Alexander hopes to get the facility back up and running quickly and stated a few days to a couple of weeks was what he’s aiming for.
Jamestown TN Medical Center, Inc. is an 85-bed facility of approximately 90,000 square feet on over eight acres of land, which offers a 24-hour Emergency Department with two spacious trauma bays and seven private exam rooms, inpatient and outpatient medical services and a Progressive Care Unit which provides telemetry services.