Alabama hospital closing surgery department

Atmore (Ala.) Community Hospital is closing its surgery department June 1 due to low patient volumes, inflating costs, and low reimbursement rates, including lack of Medicaid expansion. 

While the hospital made efforts to sustain the service, it does not have the volume to currently support it, Brad Lowery, administrator for the hospital, said in a news release on the hospital's website.

"We continue to review what is working from a financial perspective," Debbie Rowell, board chairperson of the Escambia County Health Care Authority, said in the release. "We cannot continue to offer services that decrease our financial feasibility. We continue to research impacts of Medicaid Expansion and better reimbursements options for rural healthcare facilities."

The hospital is working to ensure outpatient surgical consultants are available locally through visiting specialists at other facilities, like D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton, Ala.

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