Immediate Jeopardy for PA Medical Center

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , April 6, 2012

Financial Problems Suspected
A media release from the department of health notes that "the medical center does not have the means to obtain the proper equipment and supplies for surgical, outpatient and emergency services."

The release also notes that the admission ban doesn't apply to the medical center's long-term care facility, where about 30 patients reside. It goes on to say, however, that as a "precautionary measure due to the financial ties between the two entities" the department of health has asked St. Catherine to accept "the appointment of a temporary manager of the long-term facility" to provide consultation and operational recommendations.

Instead, the facility is now working with the Department of Health to move the residents to other long-term care facilities.

Saint Catherine Medical Center and Saint Catherine Regional Hospital are operated by Saint Catherine Healthcare, LLC. In March 2012 the three were ordered to pay a $168,760 judgment to Lease Associates. On March 26, PPL Electric Utilities filed a lawsuit against Saint Catherine and five affiliates in county court. No details regarding the claim are available.

Efforts to reach Merlyn Knapp, who has been CEO of the medical center only since Feb 26, were unsuccessful Thursday.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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