These 11 hospitals closed in 2018: Here’s why

By Ayla Ellison for Becker’s Hospital Review

From reimbursement landscape challenges to dwindling patient volumes, many factors lead hospitals to close.

Here are the factors that led 11 hospitals to close so far this year:

1. Chestatee Regional Hospital (Dahlonega, Ga.). Chestatee Regional Hospital closed July 26, making it the seventh rural hospital in Georgia to close since 2010. The closure came after Chestatee Regional Hospital was at the center of a CBS News investigation that included allegations that the hospital’s owner, Aaron Durall, was using the facility to reap huge paydays from insurers. In March, Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System announced it had reached a conditional agreement to buy Chestatee Regional. A spokesperson for Mr. Durall told Becker’s the sale of the hospital was underway before the CBS News report.

2. Good Samaritan Hospital (Dayton, Ohio). Dayton-based Premier Health shut down Good Samaritan Hospital July 23. Premier said operating two hospitals — Good Samaritan and Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton — within 5 miles of each other had become unsustainable.

3. Community Medical Center Long Beach (Calif.). Community Medical Center Long Beach opened in 1924 and closed July 3. The hospital shut down due to an inability to retrofit the facility to meet California’s seismic standards.

“This is a difficult announcement,” John Bishop, CEO of MemorialCare Community Medical Center, Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, said in a prepared statement in March. “We exhaustively explored all options to continue operations at Community Medical Center as an acute care hospital. This proved not possible since large portions of the facility would have to be demolished, resulting in a small, 94-year-old hospital with no more than 20 acute care beds, which would not allow for viable acute care operations.”

4. Regional Medical Center Jacksonville (Ala.). After 42 years in operation, Regional Medical Center Jacksonville, a 104-bed hospital, closed June 30. The Healthcare Authority of the City of Anniston (Ala.), which operated RMC Jacksonville’s parent company, announced plans in May to close the hospital due to rising healthcare costs and insufficient revenue.

“In today’s volatile healthcare environment, sustaining under-utilized, high-cost services and facilities is not fiscally responsible,” Billy Grizzard, chairman of the Healthcare Authority of the City of Anniston, said in a prepared statement in May.

5. Florence (Ariz.) Hospital at Anthem. Florence Hospital at Anthem closed June 18, just two days after its affiliated hospital, Gilbert (Ariz.) Hospital, shut down. The hospitals entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late May after creditors filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition seeking to collect from the hospitals. The hospitals failed to contest the involuntary petition within the required 21-day timeline, and the court subsequently granted creditors’ request for relief through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.

6. Gilbert (Ariz.) Hospital. Financial troubles pushed Gilbert Hospital to close June 16, two days before its affiliated hospital, Florence (Ariz.) Hospital at Anthem, shut down. Both hospitals faced financial troubles and entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy before closing.

7. Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center (Kennett, Mo.). Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems closed Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center, a 116-bed hospital, June 12. The company cited less demand for inpatient care as the reason for the closure. CHS consolidated Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center’s operations with Poplar Bluff (Mo.) Regional Medical Center.

“As healthcare delivery evolves and medical innovation makes inpatient services less needed, consolidating operations with the larger resources of Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center became the most sustainable plan for the future,” Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center CEO Christian Jones said in a prepared statement to KAIT. “We plan to continue offering excellent outpatient care locally, which is how 95 percent of our patients’ medical needs were provided last year.”

8. Coalinga (Calif.) Regional Medical Center. A decline in inpatient volumes and significant financial losses caused Coalinga Regional Medical Center to close June 12. The 24-bed hospital’s debt totaled approximately $4.5 million as of early June.

9. Bay Area Regional Medical Center (Webster, Texas). Leaders said unfavorable contracts with managed care companies pushed Bay Area Regional Medical Center to close in May. “When it came to negotiations with our managed care contracts, we were unable to come to an agreement, a favorable agreement, and due to overhead, we couldn’t survive,” a hospital spokesperson told the Houston Chronicle in May.

Although the hospital shut down, the facility may be used for a different purpose in the future. In August, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston signed a letter of intent to lease Bay Area Regional Medical Center.

10. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Garland (Texas). Baylor Scott & White Health, a nonprofit health system based in Dallas, explored several other options before shutting down 113-bed Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Garland Feb. 28. The health system closed the hospital, which incurred significant financial losses over the last three years, after scaling back services and trying to secure a new owner for the facility without success

11. Affinity Medical Center (Massillon, Ohio). Brentwood, Tenn.-based Quorum Health closed Affinity Medical Center, a 156-bed hospital, Feb. 11. Quorum cited financial troubles as the reason for the closure. The company said declining revenues, increasing provider compensation and a competitive market caused Affinity Medical Center to record financial losses for the last six years.

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