The deal, at last, appears to be done. Mountain States Health Alliance is scheduled to officially close today on its purchase of Unicoi County Memorial Hospital.
As Press Erwin Bureau Chief Brad Hicks reported Thursday, the move comes after the state Attorney General’s office issued a letter Wednesday of no action to attorneys representing the UCMH Board of Control on Wednesday.
“This office has determined that it will take no action at this time regarding the transaction,” the letter reads.
Instead of deciding to take no action, the attorney general’s office could have denied the sale or requested more information.
The sale of the community hospital to MSHA has been a heated topic in Unicoi County for many months now. Some residents had hoped the hospital would be sold to MSHA’s rival — Wellmont Health System.
Hospital board members, however, decided MSHA offered the best hope for keeping the facility going. Indeed, MSHA has made a number of promises in regards to services and infrastructure improvements at the hospital. Now, it’s time to deliver.
It won’t be easy for MSHA to make good on those promises. These are trying times for the health care industry, and particularly so for small, community hospitals like Unicoi County Memorial. Many such hospitals have been forced to close their doors.
We don’t want to see that happen in Unicoi County.
We want to know what you think about the sale of the Unicoi County hospital to MSHA. You can Sound off on this matter by sending your comments to Mailbag, Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, telephone number and address for verification.
We will print your responses on Opinion pages in the coming weeks.