AP NEWS

Application filed in effort to reopen Virginia hospital

October 23, 2019 GMT

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A health system has submitted paperwork that’s part of its plan to reopen a hospital in a far southwest Virginia county that doesn’t currently have one.

The Roanoke Times reports Ballad Health is seeking to obtain a critical access hospital designation for the facility in Lee County. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid offer higher reimbursement rates to rural hospitals with that designation, which tend to be financially vulnerable.

To qualify, the hospital has to be at least 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the nearest hospital, or 15 miles (24 kilometers) if it’s in a mountainous area like Lee County.

Ballad says the Virginia Department of Health is reviewing its application.

The hospital closed in 2013 and residents have mounted an intensive community campaign to get it reopened.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com