Quorum hospital declares closure hours after sale announcement

A rural Tennessee hospital announced plans to close July 27, the same day its parent company, Brentwood, Tenn.-based Quorum Health, revealed plans to sell the facility.

Quorum Health revealed plans to sell 45-bed McKenzie Regional Hospital to Memphis-based Baptist Memorial Health Care July 27. However, McKenzie Regional officials said later the same day it will discontinue most patient services, including its emergency department, by Sept. 15, and will begin reducing inpatient admissions during the coming weeks.

Once the hospital closes, Baptist Health Care will operate the facility as an outpatient diagnostic imaging center and sleep center. The health system will also transition ambulance services to another provider.

Hospital leadership met with the roughly 200 physicians and staff July 27 to discuss transition plans. Employees will receive assistance from the hospital to find opportunities with other regional employers, and will continue to receive pay and benefits until Sept. 29.

"It has been our privilege to care for this community and we are extremely grateful to our dedicated team of employees, nurses, physicians, volunteers and board members for their tireless service to our patients and their families. Most of all, we are grateful to our neighbors and friends for allowing us to serve as your trusted healthcare resource for more than 40 years," said McKenzie Regional CEO Michael Morrical in a prepared statement.

McKenzie Regional's closure reflects a national trend of rural hospitals closing due to falling admissions and declines in revenue. Officials noted patients will have access to care at nearby facilities, including 70-bed Baptist Memorial Hospital-Huntingdon (Tenn.), 10 miles away from McKenzie Regional, and Paris, Tenn.-based Henry County Medical Center, a 142-bed facility 15 miles away from McKenzie Regional.

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