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North Adams hospital deal nearly done

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. A federal bankruptcy judge accepted Berkshire Medical Centers bid for the North Adams Regional Hospital property Thursday morning. The $4 million bid and lease agreement was the only bid submitted after the hospital abruptly closed earlier this year.

BMC opened a satellite emergency room on the former campus seven weeks after the closing.

It's actually happened lightning fast. It was only a couple months ago that North Adams Regional Hospital was operating, said John Rodgers with BMC. We're going to plan what services should be physically in the northern tier of the county and which are sustainable over time

The state is studying the health care needs of the area and is expected to release its findings in the fall. BMC will then determine what services it wants to provide. Other operators could also provide services.

Some former NARH employees were brought back to run the satellite emergency room, radiology, pharmacy and other departments that were reopened under the temporary license. Mayor Richard Alcombright estimates hundreds of employees remain unemployed.

Probably 80 to 90 percent of those people live in North Adams or Northern Berkshire. There will be an effect. There will be people that will leave because of this. Places will maybe close or businesses will be reduced or other jobs lost because of this, but I think we're in a much better place than we were at the end of last March, said Alcombright.

Hospitals are typically required to give the state 90 days notice before closing. The Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office said its investigation into the decision remains ongoing.
 
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