New York hospital to shutter long-term care unit

Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich, N.Y., part of Binghamton, N.Y.-based United Health Services, is closing its long-term care unit.

The unit is on the hospital's second floor and is closing as of Jan. 31, according to a Nov. 28 news release shared with Becker's.

"As of today, we will no longer be accepting new residents and, over the next two months, we will work closely with our residents and their families to ensure their placement in other long-term care facilities," Drake Lamen, MD, president and CEO of the hospital, said in the release.

Chenango Memorial notified those affected by the decision, according to Dr. Lamen.

He added that the hospital is prepared to help find new placements for the unit's 19 nursing home residents and has identified other job opportunities for unit staff across the UHS system for their consideration.

The hospital cited various factors that contributed to the decision to close the unit, including the complexity of regulations governing long-term care, workforce shortages and reimbursement rates that fall short of the cost of delivering care.

Due to these factors, "this service line has not been able to support itself financially for a number of years. As a nonprofit hospital, we can no longer justify allocating additional resources to sustain it," Dr. Lamen said.

He added that the hospital must also "be realistic that our staff, space and resources could and should be put to use to grow and introduce other services for the broader benefit of our patients and community."

The hospital said it is exploring options for alternative uses for the unit space and plans to expand short-term rehabilitation services.

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