Neal Frustrated In Delay In Re-Opening North Adams Regional Hospital

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal is expressing frustration at the pace of the federal permitting process involved in re-opening the former North Adams Regional Hospital.

The permitting process involves the Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, also known as CMS. Neal says the delay is partly due to roadblocks in getting the hospital designated as a “critical care” facility. The Springfield Democrat says the designation would allow the hospital to get more money from Medicare and Medicaid.

“There are some arcane rules and procedures that appear not to be very much until there’s a problem. And then those rules and procedures are revisited from a different perspective. So I think that CMS is taking every necessary precaution. But not to miss the point, we’ve been very assertive in suggesting that that hospital in some shape and form needs to be re-opened,” Neal says.

Also complicating the hospital’s re-opening is a bankruptcy hearing, scheduled to continue on Thursday in Springfield, involving the hospital’s creditors, the state and the parent company of Berkshire Medical Center, which is negotiating to re-open at least part of the closed facility.