Staffing, financial challenges force 2nd closure of Tennessee hospital

Cumberland River Hospital in Celina, Tenn., closed Aug. 7 and placed its license on inactive status, according to TV station WKRN, which cited a letter sent by the hospital's owner and CEO to the Tennessee Department of Health.

In the letter to the state health department, Cumberland River Hospital Owner and CEO Johnny Presley cited several reasons for the hospital closure, including severe staffing shortages and the inability to secure financial funding or grants from the state.

"Due to the severity of the current financial burden and inability to continue without reimbursements, we feel this is the best and only way to move forward," reads the letter from Mr. Presley. 

Mr. Presley said the hospital could reopen, but he did not provide a timeline for when services may restart. 

"A time frame cannot be adequately assessed for reopening at this time, as we are unable to predict when financial funding will be secured and reimbursements collected," wrote Mr. Presley. "This is an unexpected and swift turn of events for us, and hopefully a very temporary solution to the issues at hand. If there are any opportunities for the state to provide financial assistance in the form of grants, until further funding becomes available, we would be willing to reassess our ability to stay open during this pandemic."

This marks the second time Cumberland River Hospital has closed in recent years. The hospital closed in March 2019 due to financial challenges. About five months later, Mr. Presley acquired the rural hospital. He reopened the facility April 18 after buying new equipment and supplies and securing a Medicare provider number.

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