Kentucky county hospital is considering closing in 2018

KYIV— A new county hospital in the Southern Appalachians is considering shutting down after it is unable to secure enough funding to operate in 2018, officials said Thursday.

The county’s emergency management agency is reviewing its financial situation following the shutdown of the Kings County Hospital at Lake Ridge Community Hospital in Kentucky.

The hospital’s annual operating budget is $13 million, but county emergency managers were unable to raise that figure this year.

They were relying on state and federal funds to cover the cost of the hospital’s operations and to pay for staff and equipment.

“We have a long history of financial challenges, and our financial situation was a cause for concern,” County Emergency Management Agency Executive Director David Gorman said in a statement.

“We’ve looked at all options, including the possibility of closing the hospital and making some cuts elsewhere in the county.”

Officials say the closure could be temporary, or it could be permanent.

Officials have also said they are considering eliminating or reducing staff positions in the area.

The agency has already lost about $3 million since it was opened in 1878.

A county spokeswoman said the decision is not final.