New Leadville hospital dealt major setback after feds withhold loan

Lake County’s only hospital, St. Vincent in Leadville, has put plans to build a new facility on hold after financial projections came up shorter than expected, indicating the small hospital has recovered from the financial brink but still needs to improve its balance sheet before a much-needed building upgrade.

In 2014, the hospital announced it would be shutting down because of critical building repairs and declining revenues, but service cuts and a partnership struck several months later with Centura Health — which also runs St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco — kept the 138-year-old hospital open.

Under the new arrangement, St. Vincent cut staffing from 152 employees to around 72 and eliminated costly services, including long-term care and home health. Last August, the hospital announced its plans to build a new facility.

On Friday, however, St. Vincent announced in a news release that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has “paused” — but not rejected — a loan for the new building, citing “the hospital’s slower than anticipated financial turnaround.”

Paul Chodkowski, CEO of both St. Anthony and St. Vincent, said that belt-tightening has shored up the hospital’s finances, but the USDA nonetheless wants to see the numbers improve over the next several months before re-evaluating the loan.

Read the full story on SummitDaily.com.

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