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County Commission to entertain hospital proposal from Pioneer

HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. — Meeting in a special session Monday evening, Scott County's Board of County Commissioners voted 13-0 in favor of a recommendation offered by Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals to allow Pioneer Health Services to submit a letter of intent to acquire and operate Scott County Hospital.

The meeting followed a formal proposal submitted by Morgan M. Dunn, Pioneer's vice president of business development. (Read the proposal.)

The Mississippi-based hospital provider has proposed to acquire Scott County Hospital for a cost of $100, while assuming a $100,000 note on the medical office building adjacent the hospital. The proposal includes a guarantee that the facility will be operated as a hospital by Pioneer for at least 10 years. If Pioneer defaults within that time period, the hospital facility would revert back to Scott County.

During the first 45 days of the hospital's operation, according to Pioneer's proposal, the lab, radiology department, pharmacy, respiratory services, human resources, maintenance department, medical records office, administration and business offices and purchasing department will be reopened, along with an extended-hours physician clinic located within the current emergency room. Over the next 15 days, Pioneer proposes to reopen the remaining departments of the hospital, including medical/surgical, nursing and dietary.

Ms. Dunn spoke to commissioners via videoconference at Monday's meeting.

The Board of Commissioners will meet in another special meeting March 10 to consider Pioneer's letter of intent.

Should the commission approve of the letter of intent, final negotiations between the county and Pioneer can begin, after which an asset purchase agreement can be signed off on by each party and submitted to the Tennessee attorney general's office for a 45-day review period.

Monday's action came after Mayor Tibbals terminated an asset purchase agreement with S.M. Promen of Tennessee, LLC, on Friday morning — as authorized by the Board of Commissioners in a resolution adopted Feb. 19.

Scott County entered into an agreement with S.M. Promen in July 2012; however, the firm failed to meet deadlines for documentation of adequate net worth to operate the facility.

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