There hasn't been much news lately on efforts to revive Pauls Valley's closed hospital. That might not be such a bad thing as at least those efforts are still going on behind the scenes.

The most recent update is a group of officials from the city of PV and Southern Plains Medical Group teamed up in what was described as a “high level” meeting over the phone.

They were talking to officials with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is responsible for entering into agreements with operating hospitals to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The trick here is that agreement can't happen unless the hospital facility here has an approved acute care license.

Efforts to get that license are still ongoing, says officials like Pauls Valley's city attorney, Jay Carlton, and City Manager James Frizell.

Frizell calls it “small steps” as the hope is persuade CMS to help with efforts to convince state health officials to renew the hospital's license at the time of its closure last October.

Carlton told the four members of the Pauls Valley City Council this week he remains skeptical but hopeful.

“For the first time I saw a glimmer of hope,” Carlton said.

“I'm cautiously optimistic.”

It was in early May when the Southern Plains group began circulating petitions to help garner the community's support in trying to get the hospital's old license renewed.

During a town meeting at that time Len Lacefield and Mike Schuster, both of Southern Plains, said a renewed license is the key because a new one would have to comply with 2019 building standards, which would cost in the millions of dollars and threaten to keep PV's hospital closed.

The longtime hospital's license has been renewed every couple of years since the Pauls Valley medical facility opened in 1970.

The deadline for the most recent renewal was scheduled for Nov. 30, 2018, which was just a few weeks after the hospital closed. The actual closing date was Oct. 12, 2018.

What that means is no one got the renewal notices since the hospital itself was battling to stay open at the time before it finally did shut down.

The goal is to convince Oklahoma Health Care Authority officials to not only renew the license of Pauls Valley General Hospital but transfer it from the city of PV to Southern Plains Hospital Corporation, which is a nonprofit affiliated with Southern Plains.

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