What happens when city loses all of it doctors?

Posted at 1:20 AM, Sep 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-30 01:20:23-04

OWENTON, Ky. – What happens when a town of 1,500 loses all of its doctors?

Owenton residents don't know what to do when they go to the New Horizon's Family Practice and find out all four doctors have left town.

"Bad. Bad as I can say," one resident said.

Nurses Kim Anderson and Natasha Goodrich are struggling to help their patients.

"We don't have an answer. Drive. Drive out of town," they say.

It's the same thing at the 25-bed New Horizon's hospital.

So what's happening?

New Horizon filed for Chapter 11. Now the district director for the Three Rivers Health Department is advising patients to make tracks.

"Follow your physician wherever they went," said Georgia Heise.

Sue Adams plans to do just that. She was given a piece of paper saying her doctor moved to Florence -- a 40-minute drive.

"And I'm not going to nobody else," Adams said.

New Horizons says they are keeping an emergency room doctor on duty at the hospital. But the family practice nurses worry that's not enough to take care of all people in the city, let alone the residents of Owen County (pop. 11,000).

They're hoping it's temporary and the doctors come back.

Two healthcare providers, Triad out of Warsaw and HealthPoint in Northern Kentucky, say they expect to provide doctors in Owenton by November.

Still, Heise says this whole situation should serve as a reminder to residents to always be prepared.

"We all do a lot of things until we're broken and then we look to somebody else to fix us," Heise said.

Some patients were able to retrieve their medical records, but what if this happened to you?

Experts suggest keeping a medical file at home. At your next doctor's visit, ask for help making a personal health record. It should include your current health information like chronic health issues and prescriptions.

Also, document your medical history, recent insurance claims and payments.