Fighting to keep Haleyville's hospital

Lakeland Community Hospital

Mayor: negotiations happening now to keep Lakeland Community Hospital open

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 12:43 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2018 1:20 PM

Lakeland Community Hospital may be on life support. But, there’s renewed hope of keeping the doors open at Winston County’s only hospital.

Curae Health owns Lakeland. Curae has had an affiliation agreement with Huntsville Hospital since 2014. That affiliation applies to physician recruiting, continuing education programs, clinical services and supply purchasing.

Haleyville mayor Ken Sunseri

Last November, WAAY 31 told you about the announcement from Lakeland Hospital’s CEO. Debbie Pace said Curae Health had decided to close its hospital in Haleyville.

Curae blamed declining reimbursements related to ObamaCare. It had accumulated a $2 million loss.

Since that announcement, Lakeland has been operating under an extension that would keep the hospital open through January 31, 2018.

Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri tells WAAY 31 he’s negotiating to keep Lakeland open beyond the January 31st extension. Mayor Sunseri says he believes talks are close to getting a March 30th extension. As of now, though, Sunseri says there is no final agreement with Curae Health.

Lakeland has 59 beds. Shuttering the facility would affect about 87 employees.

The original plan to close Lakeland would have given employees priority status to fill open positions at other facilities.

Lakeland had announced its medical detox program would move to Russellville Hospital, which Curae also owns.

Now, though, Mayor Sunseri tells WAAY 31 he’s hoping an agreement with Curae Health would bring better news to Haleyville and the Winston County area.

The initial announcement that Lakeland would be closing came without much warning. State Representative Tim Wadsworth, R-Arley, is working on introducing a bill requiring hospitals to give more notice if they plan to close a facility. Wadsworth could introduce the bill this legislative session.

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