Swap Pennsylvania hospital for freestanding facility, a former CFO testifies — 5 takeaways

A healthcare expert testified that Ellwood City (Pa.) Medical Center's property should be used for a freestanding medical facility if the current owner, Americore Health, loses control of the land, according to the Ellwood City Ledger.

Five takeaways:

1. K. Craig Trout testified to the Ellwood City Zoning Hearing Board on behalf of Penn Med, which holds a mortgage on the medical center. In May, Penn Med took Americore and its CEO to court over an alleged unpaid debt of $5.23 million.

2. Larger medical companies would be more interested in increasing patient volumes through freestanding medical facilities than acquiring Ellwood City Medical Center, Mr. Trout said, indicating he thinks the current zoning ordinance should be changed.

3. Mr. Trout, who is vice president of Revenue Cycle Solutions and former CFO of The Medical Center in Beaver, Pa. (now Heritage Valley Beaver), said Ellwood City Medical Center's real estate would be best suited for ambulatory surgery, outpatient services, urgent care, medical offices or a continual life care center.

4. Americore and Ellwood City Medical Center have both said they remain committed to keeping a hospital there.

5. The zoning hearing board has 45 days to decide whether to change the recently amended zoning ordinance and return to the original zoning, which was residential with a special use variance for the hospital.

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