In a March 23 letter to Merlyn Knapp, the medical center's CEO, state health officials cited a lack of "proper equipment and supplies" for surgical services. "Until you can provide the department with evidence that the operating room equipment has been properly inspected, there is sufficient equipment, and there are adequate supplies, the ban on admissions also applies to your surgical services department."
Knapp said in a media release that "we do not agree with some of the findings and are currently working on a plan to address and appeal those findings."
It didn't matter. The state ordered an immediate ban on new admissions, surgical services and emergency and outpatient procedures.
Whatever else was left was not enough to keep the hospital running, so things went downhill from there. On April 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services told Saint Catherine that because of the deficiencies identified by the state the hospital no longer met the federal requirements for participation in Medicare. That sealed the deal, and the hospital filed for Chapter 11 days later.
"We are evaluating all future options for Saint Catherine Medical Center, including a potential sale and re-opening of the hospital," Knapp said.
And now comes the fallout.