Ray Welch | Daily News

A celebration was held at the Pineville hospital on Monday following the news that it would remain open under the name Pineville Community Healthcare.

Pineville hospital to remain open

What has felt like a battle for over a year came to an end on Monday. The Pineville hospital is back in the hands of local people after facing bankruptcy following an ownership stint with Americore. The hospital will remain open under the name Pineville Community Healthcare.

“It’s a great day in Pineville today, I can tell you that,” said Pineville Mayor Scott Madon during the announcement on Monday. “As of 5:01 (p.m.), I am proud to announce that this hospital is back in the hands of this community.”

The mayor said they are still hammering out some of the details, but the document has been signed by the judge. They had to settle for a name change because the name Pineville Community Hospital is still in litigation. There are plans to change the name back once the litigation is over.

Madon and the city also explained a plan to get all the employees their back-pay after working about eight weeks with no paycheck.

“One of the things that we have done to secure the back-pay for these employees would be paid is all the accounts receivable that comes in after 5:01 (Monday) would go to pay the employees back-pay,” said Madon.

The mayor also explained that if they don’t get enough money on the accounts receivable, then there has also been a lien on 50 percent of the assets inside the hospital to make sure the employees get paid. After the plan was explained, Madon challenged the community to pay their medical bills.

The mayor said that he and the community had taken the hospital for granted and they needed to support the hospital.

“You guys have to support this hospital,” said Madon. “If you want to keep this hospital, when you go to your doctor you have the right to say ‘can I have my x-ray or can I have my lab work at this hospital.’”

The mayor commended the employees who sustained the hospital while receiving no pay. He also said they are working to get most of the services back they had before. They are also working to get some “game-changers” on board.

With all of the good news that came out of the announcement, Madon also said the hospital still has some hurdles to jump. They are working to appeal the Medicare decision following the termination of the agreement. He also said there would be some temporary layoffs while the hospital operates with critical staff.

The mayor said the hospital has zero patients and they don’t have enough revenue to pay for a full staff at the moment. When the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services decision gets overturn, there are plans to hire people back.