Missouri hospital to close by Sept. 22

Fulton (Mo.) Medical Center, the only hospital in its county, will close no later than Sept. 22, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.

The 37-bed hospital was purchased in 2014 by Leawood, Kansas-based Nueterra, now NueHealth, and Columbia-based University of Missouri Health Care for $6 million. NueHealth held a 65 percent ownership stake in the hospital; MU Health held the rest, paying $1.15 million in cash and providing a loan guarantee for $2.75 million for its stake.

Just last week, the academic health system informed its co-owner it would sell its minority interest in Fulton Medical Center, the Columbia Tribune reported, and seek reimbursement for the $1.6 million it invested in the hospital. As of Monday, Fulton Medical Center was not listed as a care location on MU Health's website. Becker's reached out to MU Health for comment and will update this report as more information is available. 

The hospital's 158 employees — 124 on full-time status, 34 on part-time — were notified of the closure plans Monday in meetings at the hospital. In a statement to Becker's, NueHealth stated that reasons for the hospital closure include low patient volumes, a plant in need of extensive repairs and denial for a Certificate of Need by the state to "expand the FMC clinical footprint."

Since January 2015, the hospital reported losses each month save for three — November 2015, December 2015 and October 2016, the Columbia Tribune reported. Losses in 2015 and 2016 exceeded $5.5 million, and losses from January to May this year topped $1 million. As of July 20, Fulton Medical Center had 12 inpatients but capacity for 37.

Fulton Medical Center is the only hospital in Calloway County, which has a population of roughly 45,000.

Note: This article was updated Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. CST.

 

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