We continue to work with CMS and others to get the information we need to be able to begin the RFP/public bid process. During this period, Ascendient and the County commit to providing updates as progress is made, and at least monthly.
Below are updates from Ascendient and Martin County regarding the lease of Martin General Hospital and the provision of healthcare in the county.
- Ascendient and the County have met with the NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and others to discuss options for providing sustainable healthcare in the county.
- Over the past few months, there has been interest from more than a dozen potential partners in operating healthcare services in Martin County.
- Down the line, Ascendient and the County plan to facilitate an RFP and state-required public bid process, where interested parties will submit their proposals for providing sustainable healthcare in Martin County.
- Each party is currently under a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement (NDA), as is the County, to protect the County’s interests ahead of releasing requests for proposals.
- The following questions need to be answered before the RFP/public bid process can begin:
- How—within both state and federal regulations—can we reopen a closed hospital as a rural emergency hospital(REH)?
- What, if anything, needs to be done to the existing hospital building before it can reopen?
- What, if any, kind of capital does the hospital need to reopen and what potential funding options are there for Martin General Hospital?
- As previously noted, Ascendient and the County believe an REH is one viable model that could ensure access to healthcare services in Martin County. Many of the interested parties are open to operating Martin General as an REH.
- The rural emergency hospital model is brand new, and no other hospital in North Carolina has converted to an REH yet—certainly not one that has previously closed. Therefore, the state and federal governments are still figuring out how this can and should be done.
- Ascendient and the County expect to issue an RFP to all interested parties and anyone else who wants to submit a proposal to provide healthcare in Martin County as soon as they have answers to these questions.
- Although the interested parties and the County are under a confidentiality agreement right now, North Carolina statutes require that the public bid process be open and transparent.
- Unfortunately, there is no timetable for when these questions will be answered or this process will begin, though progress continues to be made.
- The nearest emergency room is ECU Health Beaufort Hospital in Washington, NC is 22 miles south.
- The following clinics remain open to care for patients: Martin Family Medicine, Agape Health Services.
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