Monday, November 09, 2015

Northwest Georgia rural hospital that filed for bankruptcy to close

Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., (Best Places map) will become the state's fifth rural hospital to shutter since 2013 when it closes its doors on Dec. 4, Andy Miller reports for Georgia Health News. The hospital, which filed for bankruptcy, has about 500 employees and 179 beds. "In March 2014, the hospital said it employed about 900 employees and had an economic impact amounting to over $29 million in annual payroll." Georgia's failure to expand Medicaid under federal health reform is being blamed for the hospital's struggles.

The hospital laid off 58 employees in September and another 70 in October, Tyler Jett reports for the Chattanooga Times Free Press." The shut down comes because the hospital does not have enough cash flow to support itself as the patient count has dwindled in recent months. At the most recent count, the hospital's emergency room had between 40 and 50 patients, while the main hospital saw about five people in beds."

Already 50 rural hospitals have closed this decade, and another 283 are in danger of closing, says an October report from iVantage Health Analytics.

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