Under the Dome

Closed hospitals could benefit from bill

Two rural North Carolina hospitals that closed due to financial difficulties would be aided by legislation the state Senate approved Thursday.

The hospital in Belhaven, about 140 miles east of Raleigh, would be exempted from going through an approval process in order to re-open. Vident Health took over the hospital in 2011, then closed its doors last July.

Community leaders have been working to get it back in business quickly. Financing has been lined up from a federal loan.

A hospital in Yadkin County would benefit from another provision in the bill, which clarifies that hospitals don’t have to start all over if negotiations for leasing or selling fall through. Yadkin Valley Community Hospital, which closed its doors in May, has been negotiating with a buyer, said Sen. Joyce Krawiec, a Republican who represents Yadkin County.

House Bill 20, which passed the Senate 46-3, now returns to the House to concur with the Senate changes.

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