West Virginia hospital to close after COVID-19 disrupts sale process

Williamson (W.Va.) Memorial Hospital will close by the end of April, according to TV station WOWK, which cited an announcement from hospital officials. 

The 76-bed hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, about 17 months after Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems sold the facility to Williamson-based Mingo Health Partners. MHP is closing Williamson Memorial, the only hospital in Mingo County, W.Va., after an attempt to sell the hospital fell through. 

"In February, the hospital commenced in its pending bankruptcy case an effort to sell its business as a going concern," hospital officials said in a statement to WOWK. "In order to fund the on-going operating losses at the hospital until the anticipated closing of the sale, the hospital obtained a loan which it believed would be sufficient to enable it to stay open until the sale closed in early April. This process was totally disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis currently facing our country."

Given the hospital's current debt level and large losses, obtaining additional financing to keep the hospital open isn't an option, officials said. "Thus, the only option available to the hospital is to shut down its operations." 

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he'll help ensure residents of Mingo County have access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"It is unconscionable that during a pandemic we are closing any hospital or health center that can provide the care West Virginians need," Mr. Manchin said in a March 30 statement. "I will continue to work with hospital leadership and state and local officials on next steps to ensure that Mingo County will not go without treatment during this terrible pandemic."

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