West Virginia hospital to close this week

Fairmont (W.Va.) Regional Medical Center is ceasing operations earlier than expected and will close by the end of this week, according to TV station WDTV, which cited a letter from the hospital's owner.

Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services, which owns the 207-bed hospital, announced plans in February to close Fairmont Regional. At that time, Alecto said the hospital would close within 60 days.

After the announcement, other health systems in the state unveiled plans to expand services in Fairmont. Morgantown-based West Virginia University Medicine plans to build a hospital in Fairmont. Though it will be roughly two years before the new hospital opens, WVU Medicine plans to operate an emergency department and acute beds at Fairmont Regional until the new facility is ready for patients, according to WDTV

Fairmont Regional will need to close for a month to 45 days before WVU Medicine can begin offering services at the facility. That time will be used to get a new certificate of need and convert to WVU Medicine's records system, according to a statement from West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

The decision to close Fairmont Regional this week was based on the announcement from WVU Medicine and the governor, Alecto Executive Vice President Michael J. Sarrao wrote in a March 16 letter to state Del. Michael Angelucci.

"Over the next 48 hours, [Fairmont Regional] will stop admitting patients and by the end of the week, be ceasing operations," states the letter, according to WDTV.

According to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice filed with the state, 528 employees will lose their jobs when Fairmont Regional closes.

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