In a surprising move, Dr. Adam Katschke, owner/operator of the Meadow Valley Pharmacy, has decided not to accept the offer of the Grover C. Dils Medical Center to purchase the pharmacy. Katschke was not available for comment.

Hospital administrator Jason Bleak made the announcement Wednesday morning.

The Hospital Board of Directors had voted 3-1, with one abstention, on Oct. 27 to pay the $2 million purchase price Katschke was asking for the pharmacy.

Bleak said he couldn’t discuss the details of the sudden change, “but at this time the hospital is not in the running for it. At this point we’ve kind of been put on hold.”

Bleak said it “continues to be a dream of mine to really have a great health care system here in Lincoln County that can provide great quality for everybody, to improve this hospital district, to get more doctors, more nurses and a new facility.”

Katschke has considered selling the Meadow Valley Pharmacy after he was ordered recently by the state Board of Pharmacy to surrender his license and sell or close the business by Jan. 11, 2017.

Earlier this summer, Katschke took a plea bargain on one count of Medicaid fraud and one count insurance fraud. He agreed to pay $1.5 million in restitution and $100,000 in investigative costs. Sentencing is expected by the 7th District Judicial Court sometime in January..

Surprised at being taken out of the running for the pharmacy, Bleak said, “There have always been other buyers interested in the business. I am not at liberty to discuss the matter, but it’s no longer in the ballpark for the hospital to take action.”

The hospital board had decided to buy the pharmacy, Bleak explained, “to “secure the pharmaceutical services for the county without any lapse in service. A gap in service would be very bad for the elderly patients and residents, even for anyone who needs to go to the clinic or the emergency room and need pharmaceuticals, then they would have to go to Cedar City, St. George or Las Vegas.”