Sen. Blackburn demands answers from HHS after closed Jamestown hospital gets COVID-19 aid

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — United States Senator Marsha Blackburn wrote a letter to The Department of Health and Human Services regarding Rennova Health, the owner of a closed Jamestown hospital which receivedmore than $120,000 in COVID-19 federal aid.

Marsha Blackburn demands answers from Rennova Medical after closed Jamestown Hospital received more than $120,000 in CARES Act funding / Source: (WVLT)

In the letter, Blackburn set a deadline of May 27, 2020, for a response from Principal Deputy Inspector General at HHS Christi A. Grimm to the following questions:

1. Why was $121,000 of hard-earned taxpayer dollars given to a shuttered hospital?

2: Has the [Office of the Inspector General; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] contacted Rennova Health? If not, why not?

3: What proactive processes are being put into place at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to safeguard federal taxpayer dollars with regard to the COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund?

The letter also accuses Rennova Health's Tennessee facilities of owing at least $2.3 million in unpaid federal taxes.

Sen. Blackburn and Rennova have corresponded several times in the last few months concerning problems with Rennova and several Tennessee hospitals.

Rennova Health also received a final notice from the Department of Health and Human Services notifying the company it was in violation of the Medicare/Medicaid compliance agreement.

Failure to meet the agreement's requirements means that patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid would not be covered at Rennova Health facilities.

Rennova Health requested additional time to comply with the agreement.

WVLT News reached out to Rennova Health regarding the CARES Act payment and Sen. Blackburn's letter but did not immediately receive a response.

Letters from Sen. Blackburn, the Department of Health and Human Services and Rennova Health are available to read in full through the links found to the right of this article.

In WVLT's initial report, we incorrectly said this letter was sent to Rennova.

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