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No word on reopening of RVHS

Former RVHS leaders and county commissioners held a joint meeting this week, but there has been no word about the hospital’s rumored reopening.

Sunday, May 06, 2001

Former RVHS leaders and county commissioners held a joint meeting this week, but there has been no word about the hospital’s rumored reopening.

Commissioners took no action Thursday following a closed executive session with hospital board trustees and attorneys to discuss legal issues surrounding the closed healthcare facility. Several lawsuits are still pending in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

There also has been negotiations about the hospital’s use.

There is nothing to report yet, though, commission president Paul Herrell said Thursday. But things are moving and it looks good, commissioners said.

A court-appointed receiver, accountant Bob Payne, began working with remaining River Valley assets in February – when River Valley shut down after months of dealing with mounting debts and lack of revenue.

A report filed March 19 by Payne stated that ongoing discussions about renting or leasing the main hospital campus and other branches of the hospital looked very promising.

Also in March, federal debts were paid, making it easier to lease the hospital or work out an agreement with the other U.S. government agencies to lease or rent the hospital, court records showed.

On March 22, Judge Everett Burton gave the receiver authority to hire personnel to provide building security; to hire workers for answering audits, subpoenas and claims; to advertise that creditors can file claims and provide forms for claims; to pay rents as needed; to make monthly reports to the court; and to obtain and negotiate offers to manage or operate the former RVHS facilities, with approval required on all proposals by the court.

The April 28 report of the receiver – filed in court – stated negotiations on the startup of the hospital are continuing and "hopefully we will have a report by the next report."

Meanwhile, the report showed an ending balance of $1,205,750.65, with expenditures of $259,423.88, in the receiver’s account from March 16 to April 21.

About $50,000 was paid to the federal government for money owed in reference to overbilling on Medicaid/Medicare. Also, the receiver paid the IRS $51,418.61 for payroll taxes due from before the hospital closed.

The receiver has also advertised for creditors to file claims and claims are being received. Claim forms are also available at the courthouse and at the hospital facility.