Pennsylvania county declares healthcare crisis over Crozer Health closures

The Delaware County Council in Pennsylvania is declaring a healthcare crisis after financially struggling Crozer Health announced its plan to end several services, 6 ABC reported April 22.

Crozer is owned by Los Angeles-based Prospect Medical Holdings.

"Our residents are at risk right now, and not only just our residents  — our most vulnerable residents are at risk," Delaware County Councilwoman Elaine Paul Schaefer told 6 ABC.

The Springfield, Pa.-based health system will end some substance abuse and mental health services in June due to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, NPR affiliate WHYY reported April 21.

A timeline of clinic closures:

  • June 10: Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic at Drexel Hill, Pa.-based Delaware County Memorial Hospital
  • June 11: Inpatient Acute Substance Abuse/Addiction Unit at Upland, Pa.-based Crozer Chester Medical Center
  • June 19: The Crisis Center at Crozer Chester Medical Center and all mental health and substance use disorder treatment outpatient services at Chester, Pa.-based Community Hospital

The decision to end the services comes a day after the Delaware County Council passed an emergency ordinance calling for a 180-day notice before hospital or unit closures. The council specifically cited Crozer as a reason for the ordinance, after it announced the suspension of emergency and ancillary services at Springfield (Pa.) Hospital in January, according to WHYY. The suspension of services was supposed to be short-term, but many of the services are still down three months later.

The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals condemned the closures, according to 6 ABC.

The health system is having financial challenges, recently threatening to end emergency medical services to seven municipalities unless they pay up. Newark, Del.-based ChristianaCare plans to acquire the system from Prospect Medical Holdings, ChristianaCare said in February.

Crozer has been "the recipient of millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars of support over the decades from Delaware County," Councilman Kevin Madden told 6 ABC.

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