Pennsylvania hospital to close

Berwick (Pa.) Hospital Center is slated to close within 90 days after its affiliated clinics abruptly shut down last week, Newswatch 16 reported July 26 citing information from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

The hospital is owned by Fayette Holdings, a private company that bought the 90-bed hospital in 2020. Priyam Sharma, owner of Fayette Holdings, is seeking to close the acute care hospital and then transition it to a freestanding psychiatric facility, the Pennsylvania Department of Health told Newswatch 16

Hospital employees learned about the planned closure from local news reports, SEIU Healthcare PA, a union representing nearly 90 workers at the hospital, said. 

"We've had serious concerns for the future of our community hospital but we were caught completely off guard by the recent news report announcing the closing of Berwick Hospital," Matthew Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare PA, said in a July 27 statement. "We'll be working to get answers to pressing questions and connecting with local stakeholders to discuss finding a way to possibly save our hospital."

Ms. Sharma's husband, Sanjay Sharma, PhD, also operated a hospital in Galesburg, Ill., which closed in January. Dr. Sharma attributed the decision to shut down the hospital to CMS' decision to terminate the facility's Medicare contract. 

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