T.J. Regional Health Columbia
On October 5, 2015, officials from T.J. Regional Health announced that T.J. Regional Health of Glasgow, Kentucky is making a proposal to acquire and operate Westlake Regional Hospital and its clinics, the healthcare facility that is owned and operated by Adair County Public Hospital Corporation and Adair County Hospital District and located in Columbia, Kentucky. The Corporation and the Hospital District are in Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The proposed acquisition is contingent upon multiple factors, including reaching certain agreements with creditors, confirmation of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy plan by the Bankruptcy Court and receipt of approvals from state and federal healthcare regulators.
Westlake Regional Hospital, the hub of medical care for Columbia, Kentucky and the surrounding Adair County community, has experienced financial distress since at least 2007. Adair County Public Hospital Corporation and the Hospital District filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection on July 31, 2013. Westlake has continued with its healthcare operations and treatment of patients during the Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings while debt continued to escalate to unmanageable levels.
Westlake Regional Hospital CEO, Neal Gold said, “I am excited about the proposal that T.J. Regional Health has submitted. It happened because a lot of good people at both organizations had a vision for the healthcare services in our community that will move us into the next decade. The people of Columbia and Adair County will greatly benefit from T.J. Regional Health having a presence in the market.” According to T.J. officials, Neal Gold will remain with the organization to facilitate in a smooth transition.
The Westlake Board of Directors supports the T.J. Regional Health proposal. According to the Westlake Board of Directors, if the transaction is approved, the hospital will now have access to new clinical, operational and financial resources that will strengthen the healthcare services for the community.
Chairperson of Westlake Board of Directors, Richard Grant, said, “As Chairman of the Board it is very important to me that the healthcare services be maintained for the residents of Adair County and the surrounding communities. T.J. Regional Health has stepped in while Westlake is in a bankruptcy proceeding and provided a way for our community to maintain access to primary and specialty care, diagnostic services and emergency care.” Under its proposal, T.J. Regional Health will not receive any monies from the Adair County Hospital District in the proposed acquisition.
T.J. Regional Health is excited about future prospects for Westlake Regional Hospital, to the extent all required approvals can be obtained. “Westlake has been an important part of the healthcare infrastructure of Columbia and Adair County for 35 years. We see great opportunities to collaborate with the physicians and employees to grow the health care services and continue its efforts to advance the health status across the region,” stated Bud Wethington, President and CEO of T.J. Regional Health.
The next step in the process is the submission of a plan of adjustment and disclosure statement by the Adair County Public Hospital Corporation and the Hospital District to the Bankruptcy Court. The plan of adjustment will ultimately have to be voted by creditors and receive the approval of the Bankruptcy Court. T.J. Regional Health will also be meeting state and federal healthcare regulators regarding necessary approvals from those entities.
T.J. Regional Health is the parent company of T.J. Samson Community Hospital and T.J. Health Partners which currently employs over 50 primary care and specialty physicians and providers. T.J. Regional Health opened the T.J. Health Pavilion in 2013 which houses outpatient services for T.J. Samson Community Hospital as well as T.J. Urgent Care, T.J. Pavilion Pharmacy and the T.J. Health Partners medical offices. T.J. Samson has been awarded the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for healthcare quality and safety.