Two members of Congress have spoken out on behalf of 50-bed Dickenson County (Va.) Medical Center, which closed its doors Friday as a result of the bankruptcy of National Century Financial Enterprises, Dublin, Ohio. NCFE, which filed for bankruptcy protection Nov. 18, carried Dickenson County's receivables. In a letter last week to the bankruptcy court judge in Columbus, Ohio, Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) requested that court take action to "enable the continuing operation" of the hospital pending a sale to the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority, which has said it will pay "fair value" for the facility. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) sent a similar letter last week.
"I'm hopeful and optimistic, but until they can have a hearing scheduled before the bankruptcy court, I don't know how it's going to turn out," hospital CEO Benjamin Peak said. The hospital has annual revenue of roughly $10 million. Warner and Boucher told the bankruptcy judge that the hospital is in a very remote location and that its closure would make it difficult for patients to find care, in addition to putting some 200 people out of work. The hospital discharged all patients before closing, Peak said. Its last census was 11. -- by Jeff Tieman