11 hospitals closed so far this year — here's why

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. De Queen (Ark.) Medical Center stopped providing patient care in February, filed for bankruptcy in April and closed May 7. The 22-bed hospital, owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, faced financial troubles for months before it shut down. Sevier County (Ark.) leaders originally planned to take over the troubled hospital, but they ultimately decided it was facing too many court judgments and liens to save.

2. Mercy Hospital El Reno (Okla.) closed April 30. St. Louis-based Mercy said it ended its lease of the hospital due to declining inpatient volumes, which caused financial losses. Before the hospital closed, the City of El Reno had already secured a new agreement to ensure local residents would continue to have access to emergency care. Under a lease agreement that took effect May 1, Oklahoma City-based SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital began operating the emergency department of the hospital in El Reno.

3. Washington, D.C.-based Providence Hospital closed April 30 after 158 years of service. In July, St. Louis-based Ascension, which owns Providence, said it was shutting down the hospital and making investments in other types of services, including telehealth, care coordination, home care and community-based behavioral healthcare.

4. Belmont Community Hospital, a 99-bed hospital in Bellaire, Ohio, closed April 5. Hospital officials cited a decline in patient volume as the reason for the closure. "Utilization of BCH has continued to decline despite efforts to offer varying services at the facility," the hospital said in a press release. "The decline has place[d] a financial strain on the BCH that cannot be sustained in the long term."

5. Kentuckiana Medical Center in Clarksville, Ind., closed April 5. The hospital, which opened in 2009, faced financial losses for years and previously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

6. Horton (Kan.) Community Hospital closed March 12. The 25-bed critical access hospital, owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, shut down after struggling to pay utilities and missing payroll for several weeks. The hospital entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 14.

7. Georgiana (Ala.) Medical Center closed March 8. Ivy Creek Healthcare in Georgiana, which owns the hospital, cited growing costs and cuts to reimbursement as the reasons for the closure.

8. Cumberland River Hospital in Celina, Tenn., closed March 1. In January, officials announced that the hospital was shutting down due to financial challenges. They said Cumberland River Hospital had experienced significant losses in recent years due to declining reimbursements and lower patient volumes.

9. Harrisburg, Pa.-based UPMC Pinnacle closed its hospital in Lancaster, Pa., on Feb. 28. The health system announced plans in December to close UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster and transition inpatient services to another one of its hospitals located about 7 miles away. In a Feb. 15 news release, UPMC Pinnacle President and CEO Philip Guarneschelli said consolidating inpatient services on one campus would make care more convenient for patients.

10. Oswego (Kan.) Community Hospital and its two affiliated clinics closed Feb. 14. A statement from the board announcing the closure said the hospital, owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, wasn't bringing in enough revenue to cover payroll and other expenses. After the abrupt closure, the hospital entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 17.

11. Washington County Hospital in Plymouth, N.C., closed Feb. 14 after missing payroll on Feb. 8. The critical access hospital is now working its way through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. The hospital is one of several facilities owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS that has entered bankruptcy or closed in recent months. The Washington County Board of Commissioners is working with state and federal agencies to investigate the hospital's financial and operational issues and working to restore medical services at the hospital, according to a Feb. 19 public service announcement on Washington County's website.

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