Martin General Hospital might reopen as “rural emergency hospital,” but more work ahead, firm says

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WITN) – In its latest update on efforts in Martin County to reopen Martin General Hospital, the consulting firm hired by the county says the hospital may reopen in the future as a rural emergency hospital or REH.

Ascendient says that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has indicated that the county is able to reopen the closed facility as a rural emergency hospital.

“This is a positive step forward, but still requires that the building meet the facility requirements mandated by CMS, which are different requirements than those for a general hospital,” Ascendient says. “Martin General could be the first hospital in the country to reopen as an REH. Therefore, CMS had to determine how the regulations would apply under those circumstances, which is why this process has taken longer than expected.”

Ascendient says before the hospital can be reopened, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services needs to determine if the building meets those REH facility requirements and any other updates the building might need.

A walkthrough is scheduled for May 28th between NCDHHS and the county’s advisors to begin that process.

Ascendient says questions remain about the the funding options for the hospital but that the walkthrough will help determine the costs of any renovations.

The firm says it is in the process of listing out funding options.

Once these answers are in hand, Ascendient says the process can move forward which includes issuing a “request for proposal” or RFP to interested parties that want to provide healthcare in the county.