Year in review: 7 rural hospital closures in 2017

Eighty-two rural hospitals across the county have closed since 2010, and seven of those facilities shut down last year, according to research from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program.

The seven rural hospitals that closed in 2017 are listed below in alphabetical order. For the purposes of its analysis, the NCRHRP defined a hospital closure as the cessation in the provision of inpatient services. As of Jan. 2, 2018, all of the facilities listed below had stopped providing inpatient care. However, some of them still offered other services, including outpatient care, emergency care, urgent care or primary care.

1. Campbellton-Graceville (Fla.) Hospital shut down in June, one month after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

2. Care Regional Medical Center in Aransas Pass, Texas, closed in August due to extensive damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, according to the Caller Times.

3. Copper Basin Medical Center, a critical access hospital in Copperhill, Tenn., closed Oct. 1. After months of financial troubles, Copper Basin Medical Center suspended inpatient services May 9, and officials launched a GoFundMe page to help keep the hospital afloat. The hospital shut down after falling about 94 percent short of its $100,000 goal.

4. Davie Medical Center-Mocksville (N.C.) closed at the end of March, according to Journal West. A replacement facility, 50-bed Davie Medical Center, was built in nearby Bermuda Run, N.C.

5. East Texas Medical Center-Trinity closed in August. The hospital closed after Tyler-based East Texas Medical Center decided not to renew its lease of the facility. ETMC said a number of factors contributed to its decision not to renew the lease, including poor utilization and declining reimbursement rates.

6. Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick in Stuart, Va., closed in phases. The facility closed its emergency department Sept. 13 and began diverting ambulances to other facilities. The hospital continued to provide care to acute care patients until they were stable for discharge or transfer. The hospital offered outpatient care until Sept. 15, when it ceased all services.

7. Timberlands Hospital in Crockett, Texas, closed June 30 after Rockdale, Texas-based Little River Healthcare ended its affiliation agreement with the hospital, according to KTRE.

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