Judge gives tentative okay for sale of troubled Plymouth hospital

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) - A hospital in limbo here in the East may finally find some stability.

After a rocky year of financial struggles, a temporary closing, and employees not being paid for weeks, Affinity Health Partners WILL purchase Washington Regional Medical Center. The sale was approved by a judge in bankruptcy court Thursday afternoon in Raleigh.

Washington County Manager Curtis Potter said the hospital should operate normally until the sale is finalized on January 31st. "We complete the closing of the sale by the end of the month and we have a new owner and operator of the hospital. And we get past the bankruptcy proceeding that's been in place really almost all of 2019 and now moving into 2020. It brings a sense of stability," he said.​

The hospital shut down last year but was reopened by the bankruptcy court with Affinity Health Partners operating it.

Potter said people should be cautiously optimistic about the sale. He also hinted that the hospital could have new services and possibly a new, modern facility in the future.

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There is good news for residents of one Eastern Carolina county whose only hospital has been struggling financially.

A federal bankruptcy judge today tentatively approved the sale of Washington County Regional Medical Center to Affinity Health Partners.

Last year the hospital in Plymouth shut down, but the bankruptcy court reopened the facility with Affinity operating it. Then last month, employees didn't get paid when the facility ran into a cash flow problem.

The sale is tentatively set for January 31st, according to County Manager Curtis Potter.

He said the sale is subject to Affinity bringing necessary funding to the table and satisfying certain additional terms and conditions.

The hospital is expected to continue to operate as usual until the sale is finalized, Potter said.