CCMC responds to article on its status

Scott Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of CCMC, said that “CCMC is not closing next month.”

Cordova Community Medical Center.

Reports from an Anchorage television station notwithstanding, the Cordova Community Medical Center is not closing its doors next month.

In a statement posted on CCMC’s Facebook page on Wednesday, May 16, Scott Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of CCMC, said that “CCMC is not closing next month.”

“Currently, there is a news article going around on social media saying that CCMC may close its doors over FCC subsidy cuts,” Mitchell said.

“We would like to say that the story was very sensationalized and did not have most of the information discussed.  We’re sorry that this news article did not explain the entire situation and resulted in a sensational story that caused a lot of stress unnecessarily.”

Anchorage television station KTVA posted a news article on May 15 with the headline “Cordova hospital may close over FCC subsidy cuts.”

KTVA reporter Chris Klint wrote that “federal funding cuts to a program which subsidizes rural hospitals’ telecommunications costs could shutter a Cordova hospital, which received a bill last week for nearly $1 million in back costs.

Klint also quotes Mitchell as saying that the hospital’s monthly telecom bill comes out to $80,000, but with federal help it only pays $1,000 a month out-of-pocket.

The television station also posted a letter to CCMC from Laurie Butcher, senior vice president, finance, for Alaska Communications, in Anchorage, stating that the telecommunications company was requiring CCMC to pay the balance of $964,370 in full by June 30. “If you are unable to make payment, we will disconnect your RHC (data) service on July 1, 2018,” Butcher’s letter said.

Mitchell was in Anchorage attending meetings of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association and Butcher was also in business meetings.  Neither were immediately available for comment.

This is a developing story.