West Virginia hospital lays off 22% of staff amid cash flow crunch

Williamson (W.Va.) Memorial Hospital is closing two clinics, laying off 35 employees and placing its intensive care unit on permanent diversion, according to the Williamson Daily News.

The changes come less than two weeks after the 76-bed hospital entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Williamson Memorial Hospital said it is facing financial troubles due to "extreme delays in collections from governmental and third-party payers," according to the report. It's cash flow problem "appears to be due to an information system (electronic medical record and billing system) conversion," the hospital said in a post on its Facebook page.

The layoffs, which will affect roughly 22 percent of the hospital's 157 employees, and service cuts are among the steps the hospital is taking to improve its financial position. The hospital, owned by Williamson-based Mingo Health Partners, may still close by the end of the year, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act Notification letter obtained last month by the Williamson Daily News.

"This is to advise you that Williamson Memorial Hospital may permanently close its hospital facility. If it occurs, the exact date of the closing is unknown at this time but should take place approximately on or before Dec. 21, 2019," the letter read, according to the report. "Current ownership is using its best efforts to restructure the debt through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and keep the hospital operating under new management or find a new owner that will have the resources to keep the hospital open in the future."

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