The licenses for both hospitals will now expire Dec. 20, 2022, giving the hospitals 90 days to reopen doors at each location.

MEXICO — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services approved Platinum Health's request to extend temporary suspension of its hospital license at both the Mexico and Fulton locations. 

DHSS confirmed that the licenses for both hospitals will now expire Dec. 20, 2022, giving them 90 days to reopen doors at each location. 

Amy O'Brien, the CEO of the Audrain Community Hospital, said Platinum requested a variance to the existing extension adding those additional 90 days. That means if the DHSS did not approve this variance, Platinum's hospital licenses in Fulton and Mexico would have expired when the original extension did on Thursday, Sept. 21. 

This temporary suspension will give the Audrain Community Hospital time to repair windows that are boarded up at the emergency room entrance and the Callaway Community Hospital time to address plumbing issues, according to O'Brien.

The suspension comes just weeks after Platinum Health said it was terminating employees and closing facilities. Employees received a letter on Sept. 8, notifying them that their positions would be terminated the following day.

While there is no timeline in place, O'Brien said Platinum is working to sell the hospitals to interested buyers. The Texas-based company assumed control of both hospitals and nine of its clinics in April.

But to Callaway County resident Jody Buchholz, any time without a hospital in his community is a loss. 

"If you got anything life-threatening, you're living on a thin line to survive or you may not make it," Buchholz said. 

The hospitals' previous owner, Noble Health, suspended services in March. Noble Health then laid off 175 of their employees at the two hospitals. 

This story has been republished from KOMU.

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