Crittenden Regional Hospital to close Sept. 7

West Memphis, Ark.-based Crittenden Regional Hospital stopped accepting new patients Monday and will close permanently Sept. 7, affecting its roughly 400 employees and the community.

Home health and hospice services offered by CRH will cease Sept. 5.

According to the hospital, economic struggles combined with declining patient volumes and reimbursement have put financial pressures on CRH. Those struggles intensified after many physicians left the hospital and a fire shut down the hospital for more than six weeks.

"We are deeply saddened to have to make this decision after all the attempts that have been made to preserve the hospital for our community," Gene Cashman, the hospital's CEO, said.

One such effort was a local sales tax increase that aimed to help get the hospital out of debt. "The sales tax campaign was a tremendous testament to the community's support for Crittenden Regional and we are thankful for that," said David Rains, the board of trustees' chairman. "Unfortunately, the fire decimated our cash position. We are not able to finance our operations until December when the tax revenues would have been received."

The hospital plans to "make every effort" to help its employees find new jobs, Mr. Cashman said. Officials are reaching out to other healthcare organizations in the area that might consider keeping physician services in the area as well as take on some CRH employees.

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