12 hospitals have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic

Twelve hospitals in the U.S. have closed in the eight months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Hospitals across the nation have experienced financial strain tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lower patient volumes, canceled elective procedures and higher expenses have created a cash crunch for hospitals, many of which were already operating on thin margins. U.S. hospitals are estimated to lose more than $323 billion this year, according to a report from the American Hospital Association. 

Below are the 12 hospitals that have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning with the most recent. 

1. Northridge Medical Center (Commerce, Ga.) 
Northridge Medical Center closed Oct. 31. The 90-bed hospital shut down less than seven years after opening its doors Jan. 1, 2014. It cited a decline in patient volume as the reason for the closure. 

2. Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center (Cuthbert)
Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center, a 25-bed critical access hospital, closed Oct. 22. The hospital closed due to financial strain worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

3. Shands Lake Shore Regional Medical Center (Lake City, Fla.)
Shands Lake Shore Regional Medical Center closed Aug. 31. The hospital, owned by the Lake Shore Hospital Authority, announced in July that it was closing. The hospital said it had to borrow money to maintain operations, and declining patient volume and financial challenges resulted in losses that were unsustainable. 

4. Cumberland River Hospital (Celina, Tenn.)
Cumberland River Hospital closed Aug. 7 and placed its license on inactive status. In a letter to the state health department, the hospital's owner and CEO cited several reasons for the closure, including severe staffing shortages and the inability to get funding or grants from the state. 

5. Bluefield (W.Va.) Regional Medical Center
Bluefield Regional Medical Center closed July 30. Officials said the decision to shut down the hospital was based on several factors, including declining patient volume and reimbursement rates and significant financial damage tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

6. First Texas Hospital Cy-Fair (Houston)
First Texas Hospital Cy-Fair closed July 26, less than four years after opening. Irving, Texas-based Adeptus Health opened First Texas Hospital Cy-Fair in 2016. When the 50-bed hospital shut down, 62 workers were laid off.

7. Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital (Ashland, Ky.) 
Bon Secours Mercy Health closed Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland, Ky., on April 30. The 214-bed hospital was originally slated to shut down in September of this year, but the timeline was moved up after employees began accepting new jobs or tendering resignations. Bon Secours cited local competition as one reason for the hospital closure. Despite efforts to help sustain hospital operations, Bon Secours was unable to "effectively operate in an environment that has multiple acute care facilities competing for the same patients, providers and services," the health system said. 

8. Williamson (W.Va.) Hospital 
Williamson Hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2019 and was operating on thin margins for months before shutting down April 21. The 76-bed hospital said a drop in patient volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to close. CEO Gene Preston said the decline in patient volume was "too sudden and severe" for the hospital to sustain operations. 

9. Decatur County General Hospital (Parsons, Tenn.)
Decatur County General Hospital closed April 15, a few weeks after the local hospital board voted to shut it down. Decatur County Mayor Mike Creasy said the closure was attributable to a few factors, including rising costs, Tennessee's lack of Medicaid expansion and broader financial challenges facing the rural healthcare system in the U.S. 

10. UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury (Pa.)
UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury closed March 31. Pittsburgh-based UPMC had announced plans last December to close the rural hospital, citing dwindling patient volumes. Sunbury's population was 9,905 at the 2010 census, down more than 6 percent from 10 years earlier. Though the hospital officially closed its doors in March, it shut down its emergency department and ended inpatient services Jan. 31. 

11. Fairmont (W.Va.) Regional Medical Center
Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services closed Fairmont Regional Medical Center on March 19. Alecto announced plans in February to close the 207-bed hospital, citing financial challenges. "Our plans to reorganize some administrative functions and develop other revenue sources were insufficient to stop the financial losses at FRMC," CEO Bob Adcock said. "Our efforts to find a buyer or new source of financing were unsuccessful." 

12. Sumner Community Hospital (Wellington, Kan.)
Sumner Community Hospital closed March 12 without providing notice to employees or the local community. Kansas City, Mo.-based Rural Hospital Group, which acquired the hospital in 2018, cited financial difficulties and lack of support from local physicians as reasons for the closure. "We regret having to make this decision; however, despite operating the hospital in the most fiscally responsible manner possible, we simply could not overcome the divide that has existed from the time we purchased the hospital until today," the hospital group said in a news release.

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