Blackburn Questions Rennova Following Concerning Reports

By Jacob E. Rosenbaum

U. S. Senator Marsha Blackburn

Last week, U. S. Senator Marsha Blackburn sent a letter to Rennova Health CEO Seamus Lagan, in which she stated a number of concerns about the company’s ability to manage hospitals in rural Tennessee. 

Rennova is the company that owns Jamestown Regional Medical Center, which has now been closed for more than six months and whose license was recently changed to inactive status. 

JRMC, which closed last June as a result of failure to comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) conditions of participation.

Even though Jamestown Regional was open one day and then closed the next, the decline of the hospital took several months, and began with the company’s failure to pay utility bills, contractors, and eventually even its own employees.

Now, as reports of similar events are beginning to surface regarding Rennova’s other two Tennessee hospital’s (Big South Fork Medical Center in Oneida and Jellico Community Hospital in Campbell County), Senator Marsha Blackburn has decided to look into the matter more seriously.

In a letter dated January 28, 2020, Blackburn writes the following:

Dear Mr. Lagan,

I write to express my concerns about access to health care for the rural residents of the State of Tennessee. Rural hospital closures hit a record high in 2019. With the closure of 11 facilities since 2010, Tennessee is one of the hardest hit states. Closure of rural hospitals causes mortality rates to increase in those communities. When rural hospitals close, more than half cease to provide any type of health care. As you may imagine, reports about rural hospitals in Tennessee get my attention.

Recent media reports regarding facilities owned by your company, Rennova Health,  have been concerning. On January 21, 2020, it was reported that Rennova’s Big South Fork Medical Center in Oneida, TN was ten days late in making payroll. Similar reports occurred in September 2019 and June 2019. it is my understanding that Rennova Health bought the hospital in 2017.

Read the full story in this weeks Fentress Courier.