Financial problems continue at struggling Pennsylvania hospital

Ellwood City (Pa.) Medical Center, which has faced various financial challenges in recent months, cut jobs and still owes unpaid bills, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.

Seven things to know:

1. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Americore Health purchased Ellwood City Hospital in 2017.

2. Over the last year, the facility has faced various difficulties, including payroll issues.

3. Most recently, Ellwood City Hosptial owes $110,000 in unpaid electric bills, according to the report. That's in addition to the $92,000 the hospital owes by the end of the year for property taxes and county and school taxes.

4. Americore Health CEO Grant White told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Ellwood City Medical Center's recent troubles are temporary as it moves to a more stable business model to improve its financial picture.

Still, he acknowledged: "We probably hung on a little too long to the old model. We waited too long and cost the system too much money, and that's on me."

5. Mr. White said the hospital will remain an acute care facility, but the path toward financial improvement has involved cutting employees and some clinical services, according to the report. Mr. White projected 75-80 jobs have been cut in the last 45 days, and he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the operating room suite, which was once available 24 hours a day, is now available only during normal business hours. The intensive care unit closed.

6. Mr. White said Americore Health's plans for the hospital include focusing more on telehealth and outpatient care, as well as opening a drug treatment center in the next six months.

7. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "It will be very clear by the end of the year what we're doing" as part of the hospital's transition. "We are absolutely committed to that hospital and that town."

Access the full Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report here.

More articles on healthcare finance:

Connecticut hospital cuts budget amid merger talks
Healthcare prices growing slowly: 4 findings
Colorado hospitals doubled overhead spending over 7 years

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