Lee Regional Medical Center to Close Due to PPACA Pay Cuts

Lee Regional Medical Center in Pennington Gap, Va., will close Oct. 1, partly due to Medicare reimbursement cuts under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Other factors driving the hospital's closure include extremely low use of the 70-bed facility and a lack of consistent coverage, according to a news release from Kingsport, Tenn.-based Wellmont Health System, Lee Regional's parent company. The 2 percent Medicare pay cut under sequestration and Virginia's decision not to expand its Medicaid program under the healthcare reform law also had an impact. More than 60 percent of the hospital's reimbursements come from state and federal programs, according to the release.

Due to the same economic pressures that led to the hospital's closure, Wellmont cut about 50 positions in June from Lee Regional as well as Mountain View Medical Center in Norton, Va., and Lonesome Pine Hospital in Norton.

Wellmont has created a patient navigation and information service to help residents in the community Lee Regional served. Patients will have access to other Wellmont facilities in the region, according to the release.

Lee Regional isn't the only hospital planning to close due to economic pressures related to healthcare reform. The board of directors at Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven, N.C., has voted to close the 25-bed critical access hospital over the next five to six months. A Daily Reflector report said North Carolina's decision not to expand Medicaid was a factor in closing the hospital.

More Articles on Hospital Closures:
LSU Approves Closure of Huey P. Long Medical Center
Johns Hopkins Bayview Closes Skilled Nursing Facility Division, Lays Off 60
Christus Begins Gradual Closure of Schumpert Medical Center, Lays Off 200 

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