South Carolina hospital closing down Thursday

Southern Palmetto Hospital, a 53-bed hospital in Barnwell, S.C., will close its doors on Thursday, according to a WRDW report.

Hospital officials said the facility is closing due to a decline in patient volume and an increase in uncompensated care costs. Despite efforts to improve collections and become more efficient, the hospital has been operating at a loss, according to the report.

Although the hospital will cease operations on Thursday, the shutdown may only be temporary. Southern Palmetto issued a statement to The Augusta Chronicle that said the hospital's "current ownership is seeking alternatives for the continuation of healthcare in the community though no plans for the future have been approved."

Southern Palmetto CEO Michael Patterson told The Augusta Chronicle the final decision to close the hospital was made Monday, and employees were notified on Tuesday. The hospital's 90 full-time and 28 part-time employees will receive two weeks severance pay, according to the report.

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