Lewis County General Hospital Expands Despite Debt

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Story Updated: Jun 2, 2014

Lewis County General Hospital owes the county $11 million.

"We are expecting a $4.5 million payment on June 11 and when we receive that, it'll go directly to the county so it helps to pay down on that debt," said Christina Flint, hospital spokesperson.

That state and federal government reimbursement is just for 2012. 

Another payment is due Lewis County General Hospital for 2013, which will completely re-pay the $11 million debt. 

It is a cycle, which occurs every year, with the county paying health insurance and pension costs on behalf of the rural hospital, state and federal governments reimbursing the hospital, then Lewis County General paying the county.

The hospital plans no cuts.

In fact, the rural hospital is looking at ways to grow service, complicated by the loss of their orthopedic surgeon, Jeffrey Gundel, who was suspended after he was accused of unlawfully distributing oxycodone in actions that did not involve the hospital.

"One of the things we're doing to grow...is to restore orthopedics, to restore dermatology services," said Flint.

Dermatology services start in August. 

Also going forward, administrators pledge to monitor income and expenses.

"We're here for the long haul," said Flint.

The new orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Gilles, is skilled in a variety of orthopedic services, with a specialty in sports medicine. 

He starts seeing patients at Lewis County General Hospital this week.

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