BOONVILLE, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Boonville hospital set to close Wednesday night has asked state regulators to suspend its license pending a possible purchase.
Pinnacle Regional Hospital leadership said in a news release that it would close its doors at 7 p.m. Wednesday, citing "economic hardship."
However, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said late Wednesday that the hospital has asked for its license to be suspended for 90 days in case a buyer comes forward.
The hospital earlier this week posted a statement on its Facebook page saying it had stopped laboratory testing, citing regulatory issues. The hospital said the closure was prompted after a discussion with Missouri regulators.
"Following further discussions with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS), it has been determined that the economic hardship of bringing the facility into compliance is too great to make the appropriate repairs necessary," the release said.
Emergency department staff will remain at the hospital for two weeks to help with any walk-in patients, the hospital says.
ABC 17 News requested information about inspections of Pinnacle's Boonville hospital. However, Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Lisa Cox said the department is prohibited by law from releasing that information.
Pinnacle also owns a hospital in Overland Park, Kansas.
Pinnacle bought the hospital, formerly known as Cooper County Memorial Hospital, in October 2018, promising to maintain services that were already offered at the hospital.
Employees recently filed a class-action lawsuit in Cooper County alleging the hospital owes them for unpaid insurance premiums that were held out of their checks.
“Their email just stated that they hoped to pay us Friday but they were just short at this time due to the holiday funding not going out and coming in," said a Pinnacle Regional Hospital Employee. "So that’s up in the air, who knows. We were supposed to be having health insurance and they were pulling that out of our paychecks since July and none of us had health insurance.”
"Unfortunately, my clients were recently informed that despite Pinnacle withholding deductions from their paychecks for months, they have not had valid health insurance since July 1, 2019," their lawyer, Blake Green, wrote in a statement sent to ABC 17 News. "As a result, we filed this class action suit in an effort to protect the hospital's employees and seek justice on their behalf. "
Check back for updates to this developing story.