Future of hospital in limbo

By Crystal Britt

Doniphan, MO (KFVS) - The economy in Southeast Missouri could potentially force one hospital to cease operations.

The Ripley County Memorial Hospital in Doniphan treats about 400 people for emergency medical reasons every month.
Over the last six months the hospital has operated nearly $3,000,000 over budget, and it's had problems with the IRS for the last decade.
The chairman of the hospital's board of trustees says the hospital owes $2,000,000 in taxes to the IRS, mostly from penalties and interest.  
"We have cut back on payroll as much as we can to justify making ends meet," said Fred Leroux. 
U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson attending a meeting this weekend in Doniphan about the hospital.
"So much of the money that's owed is actually interest and penalties and not principles,and so if we can widdle it back to the original that would be ideal", said Emerson.
Officials with the hospital say if the government doesn't step in or find additional revenue, then it could shut down within the next 90 days.