HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. — Scott County's Board of County Commissioners approved an asset purchase agreement with Pioneer Health Services to acquire the Scott County Hospital during a special-called meeting Monday evening.
In order to expedite the process of reopening the hospital, which has been closed since May 24, the typical letter of intent was bypassed and the process went straight to the next step — the asset purchase agreement.
Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals presented commissioners with the document, drafted by the Mississippi-based hospital provider, at the outset of Monday's meeting. The commission's approval is subject to final, minor revisions of the document, which must be agreed upon by the county and Pioneer.
Once those final revisions are made, the document will be submitted to the state attorney general for review, a process that is expected to take 45 days to complete. After that, the deal will be finalized and Pioneer can move towards reopening the hospital. Pioneer officials say it will take up to 150 days after the close of the deal to have a fully-operational hospital and 24-hour emergency room. Until the emergency room is back up and running, Pioneer has proposed to operate an extended-hours ambulatory care clinic in the ER facility. While EMS cannot transport patients to the facility until the ER is officially open, the ambulatory clinic would provide urgent care to patients.
The asset purchase agreement signed off on by the commission on Monday is very similar to the APA the county entered into with S.M. Promen of Tennessee last October. That agreement was terminated by Mayor Tibbals, with the commission's approval, on March 1 after S.M. Promen failed to meet a revised deadline for submitting proof of adequate net worth to operate the hospital.
The agreement will see the hospital facility transferred to Pioneer for $100, in exchange for a guarantee that the facility will be operated as a hospital for at least 10 years. Should Pioneer default within that 10-year period, ownership of the facility would revert back to Scott County. Pioneer will reimburse the county for the existing debt on the professional services building on the hospital campus, which is estimated at $105,000.