Adventist Health closes Washington hospital

Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health on Monday closed Walla Walla (Wash.) General Hospital along with its affiliated home health division and medical group.

The closure comes after Adventist called off plans in June to transfer ownership of Walla Walla General to Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services. Under the deal, Providence agreed to assume ownership and operation of the Walla Walla campus and disburse $14 million over 24 years into a special fund for community health that Adventist would direct.

However, Adventist said late last month the proposed transaction encountered "unexpected regulatory challenges" that could possibly block the deal. The system discontinued negotiations with Providence and announced it would close the Walla Walla campus.

Adventist said Walla Walla General has faced financial troubles for the past decade. The system invested $68 million into Walla Walla General in recent years, but that wasn't enough to save the hospital.

"We respect the legacy of this hospital, its place in the heart of our community, and the investments we have all made to sustain it for more than a century," Adventist said. "Unfortunately, the current volatile healthcare environment, legislative challenges, and consistent low inpatient census have created an unsustainable future for Walla Walla General Hospital."

Adventist said many of the Walla Walla General Hospital physicians will remain local and will inform patients of their future plans.

Walla Walla General Hospital was founded in 1899 and has more than 400 employees, including a medical staff of more than 175 clinicians.

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