Jamestown (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center is likely nearing closure after the CMS announced it will cut off payments to the hospital, which owes more than $4 million to hundreds of vendors and lacks critical supplies. The nearly 60-year-old hospital has experienced financial struggles and ownership changes over the years, but its descent swiftly accelerated after Rennova Health bought the hospital in 2018 from Community Health Systems.
1960: Fentress County General Hospital, with 35 beds, admits its first patient on March 1, according to the hospital’s legacy website.
1985: Houston-based Clarent Hospital Corp. buys the Jamestown hospital, whose bed count had grown to 85.
1998: Modern Healthcare names Fentress County General one of the 100 Top Hospitals as determined by health data firm HCIA among hospitals with fewer than 100 beds.
2001: Clarent reveals it faces a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging employees at the Fentress County General used inaccurate codes to obtain higher Medicare reimbursement.
2002: Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates buys Fentress County General from Clarent along with three other hospitals after Clarent emerged from bankruptcy and sold off hospitals to pay down debt.
2014: Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems completes the purchase of HMA, including the Jamestown hospital, for $3.9 billion, making it the largest hospital chain in the country by hospital count at the time.
2016: CHS renames the hospital Tennova Healthcare-Jamestown. CHS acquired Tennova Healthcare as part of its purchase of HMA.
2017: The Jamestown hospital continues to struggle financially, reporting net losses from operations from at least 2013 through 2018. The hospital saw its highest net loss yet in 2017: $3.7 million on total patient revenue of $14.2 million, or a negative profit margin of 26.2%, Modern Healthcare Metrics data shows.
June 2018: CHS completes the sale of 85-bed Tennova Healthcare-Jamestown to Rennova Health, a money-losing lab test company struggling with declining reimbursement from commercial insurers.
February 2019: The CMS gives the Jamestown hospital 90 days to fix deficiencies or have its Medicare billing privileges revoked. An agency inspection found the hospital owed about $3 million to 165 vendors, some of whom had cut off services. Ambulances were taking patients elsewhere.
May 2019: The CMS said it is revoking the Jamestown hospital’s Medicare agreement effective June 12. In a separate inspection, several employees said money withheld from their paychecks purportedly for Social Security was not deposited into the federal program. Unpaid bills had grown to $4 million and its electricity had been temporarily shut off.