UPDATE: SW Virginia Health Authority sends final Wellmont / MSHA recommendations

(PHOTO: K. Roberts / WCYB)

The Southwest Virginia Health Authority made recommendations on Thursday to send to the state's health commissioner regarding the proposed merger of Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System.

Delegate and SVHA member Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, told News 5 that members met in Charlottesville last week in a work session to review the certificate of public advantage or COPA approved last month by Tennessee Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner.

Kilgore said the board decided to include some of Tennessee's recommendations to Wellmont and MSHA in their final decisions, including making sure the rural medical facilities of the chain, most of which are in Southwest Virginia, are not burdened by extra costs and more protection for employees.

The authority voted to send those proposals to Richmond for review and possible approval by the end of this month.