Federal funding increase will keep CCMC connected

Cordova Community Medical Center.

Increased funding of the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Healthcare Fund has lifted the financial cloud over the Cordova Community Medical Center.

Scot Mitchell, chief executive officer/administrator of CCMC, confirmed on July 2 that the FCC has expanded the cap on the fund. “And that it is tied to the inflationary rate, so it will increase every year that the rate of inflation increases,” Mitchell said.

“We have so many issues to deal with that it’s just one less I have to deal with now,” he said.

Financial issues came to a head in early May when Alaska Communications notified the Cordova hospital that their balance due in full by June 30 totaled $964,370, and unless that payment was received, the hospital’s Internet access would be cut off.

The problem was that the hospital had been making its required portion of monthly bills, but the federal agency had not paid its much more substantial share, as it continued a lengthy review.

Becky Hultberg, chief executive officer of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Association, told KTUU, the NBC News television affiliate in Anchorage, that the FCC is still reviewing the rates with Alaska carriers, but her hope was that the review can be completed and the carriers paid, so that the program continues.