THOMASVILLE, Ala. (WKRG) — WKRG News 5 continues to follow the financial crisis at Thomasville Regional Medical Center as the facility struggles to stay open. We first reported the problems back in March when officials reached out to us as they prepared for another trip to Washington, D.C. in hopes of receiving financial support from the federal government.
Now, a month later Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day and other officials are still fighting for what they say they deserve. Day and hospital staff believe TRMC is owed over $7 million of COVID-19’relief money that never trickled down to the facility. They blame a flaw in the formula that is used to determine the amounts for rural hospitals.
Good news came this week when a $1 million anonymous donation was received for Thomasville Regional Medical Center, but is it enough?
“We’ve been struggling to try and do what we’ve got to do to survive while we’ve been fighting this fight. Blake, it’s about saving lives,” Day said Wednesday.
Mayor Day is back in Washington, DC on his 7th trip of the year this week trying to figure out how TRMC missed out on those payments. The $1 million donation is a needed surprise, but one that likely will only go so far he says.
“This million dollars is basically a real big bandaid, probably a big bandage, that buys us a month or two more to finish our fight,” he continued.
In an interview last month, we spoke to TRMC CEO Curtis James about the needs. He told us the hospital was set up to succeed when doors opened in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard forcing them to refinance just a few months later. He says the need is great.
“We thought we had enough capital runway to make it to cashflow positive situation. We went back after about 6 months after opening again we got no COVID relief funding. None,” said James in our March interview.
So far the hospital has only received $1 million from the Provider Relief Fund and a month after their initial plea for help and sharing their story with WKRG, they’re still fighting to keep the rural facility operating.
Mayor Day tells us Governor Ivey’s office and other elected leaders continue to fight on their behalf, too. We’ll continue to follow this story and update you as new information is released.