Members of Hillcrest Healthcare's board of directors have expressed interest in acquiring the county-owned properties they operate.
Board Chairman Bill Mason told Knox County Commissioners at their monthly luncheon Monday that Hillcrest can't wait to make such a move until their lease with the county expires in 2016, but need to starting figure out how to meet the demands of the future now.
He mentioned the possibility of having the county to transfer the title to Hillcrest, which would enable them to use the property's value as collateral.
Mason says they could then use the collateral to borrow money to complete necessary upgrades to their facilities.
Of their 588 beds county-wide, Mason says they serve 70% Medicaid patients.
He also reported to commissioners on their continued improvement since Hillcrest was de-certified and later readmitted as a Medicaid provider in 2010 due to inspection results that identified a poor quality of care.
Hillcrest passed two back-to-back state surveys to gain re-certification with "zero deficiencies," according to Mason.