42 hospitals closed, filed for bankruptcy this year

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/42-hospitals-closed-filed-for-bankruptcy-this-year.html?utm_medium=email

The Local Hospital Closed. These Doctors Didn't Give Up.

From reimbursement landscape challenges to dwindling patient volumes, many factors lead hospitals to shut down or file for bankruptcy. At least 42 hospitals across the U.S. have closed or entered bankruptcy this year, and the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may force more hospitals to do the same in coming months. 

COVID-19 has created a cash crunch for many hospitals across the nation. They’re estimated to lose $200 billion between March 1 and June 30, according to a report from the American Hospital Association. More than $161 billion of the expected revenue losses will come from canceled services, including nonelective surgeries and outpatient treatment. Moody’s Investors Service said the sharp declines in revenue and cash flow caused by the suspension of elective procedures could cause more hospitals to default on their credit agreements this year than in 2019. 

Below are the provider organizations that have filed for bankruptcy or closed since Jan. 1, beginning with the most recent. They own and operate a combined 42 hospitals.

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital (Ashland, Ky.)
Bon Secours Mercy Health closed Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland, Ky., on April 30. The 214-bed hospital was originally slated to shut down in September of this year, but the timeline was moved up after employees began accepting new jobs or tendering resignations. Bon Secours cited local competition as one reason for the hospital closure. Despite efforts to help sustain hospital operations, Bon Secours was unable to “effectively operate in an environment that has multiple acute care facilities competing for the same patients, providers and services,” the health system said.

Williamson (W.Va.) Hospital
Williamson Hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October and was operating on thin margins for months before shutting down on April 21. The 76-bed hospital said a drop in patient volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to close. CEO Gene Preston said the decline in patient volume was “too sudden and severe” for the hospital to sustain operations.

Decatur County General Hospital (Parsons, Tenn.)
Decatur County General Hospital closed April 15, a few weeks after the local hospital board voted to shut it down. Decatur County Mayor Mike Creasy said the closure was attributable to a few factors, including rising costs, Tennessee’s lack of Medicaid expansion and broader financial challenges facing the rural healthcare system in the U.S.

Quorum Health (Brentwood, Tenn.)
Quorum Health and its 23 hospitals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy April 7. The company, a spinoff of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, said the bankruptcy filing is part of a plan to recapitalize the business and reduce its debt load.

UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury (Pa.)
UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury closed March 31. Pittsburgh-based UPMC announced plans in December to close the rural hospital, citing dwindling patient volumes. Sunbury’s population was 9,905 at the 2010 census, down more than 6 percent from 10 years earlier. Though the hospital officially closed its doors in March, it shut down its emergency department and ended inpatient services Jan. 31.

Fairmont (W.Va.) Regional Medical Center
Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services closed Fairmont Regional Medical Center on March 19. Alecto announced plans in February to close the 207-bed hospital, citing financial challenges. “Our plans to reorganize some administrative functions and develop other revenue sources were insufficient to stop the financial losses at FRMC,” Fairmont Regional CEO Bob Adcock said. “Our efforts to find a buyer or new source of financing were unsuccessful.” Morgantown-based West Virginia University Medicine will open a 10-bed hospital with an emergency department at the former Fairmont Regional Medical Center by the end of June.

Sumner Community Hospital (Wellington, Kan.)
Sumner Community Hospital closed March 12 without providing notice to employees or the local community. Kansas City, Mo.-based Rural Hospital Group, which acquired the hospital in 2018, cited financial difficulties and lack of support from local physicians as reasons for the closure. “Lack of support from the local medical community was the primary reason we are having to close the hospital,” RHG said. “We regret having to make this decision; however, despite operating the hospital in the most fiscally responsible manner possible, we simply could not overcome the divide that has existed from the time we purchased the hospital until today.”

Randolph Health
Randolph Health, a single-hospital system based in Asheboro, N.C., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 6. Randolph Health leaders have taken several steps in recent years to improve the health system’s financial picture, and they’ve made progress toward that goal. Entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy will allow Randolph Health to restructure its debt, which officials said is necessary to ensure the health system continues to provide care for many more years.

Pickens County Medical Center (Carrollton, Ala.)
Pickens County Medical Center closed March 6. Hospital leaders said the closure was attributable to the hospital’s unsustainable financial position. A news release announcing the closure specifically cited reduced federal funding, lower reimbursement from commercial payers and declining patient visits.

The Medical Center at Elizabeth Place (Dayton, Ohio)
The Medical Center at Elizabeth Place, a 12-bed hospital owned by physicians in Dayton, Ohio, closed March 5. The closure came after years of financial problems. In January 2019, the Medical Center at Elizabeth Place lost its certification as a hospital, meaning it couldn’t bill Medicare or Medicaid for services. Sixty to 65 percent of the hospital’s patients were covered through the federal programs.

Mayo Clinic Health System-Springfield (Minn.)
Mayo Clinic Health System closed its hospital in Springfield, Minn., on March 1. Mayo announced plans in December to close the hospital and its clinics in Springfield and Lamberton, Minn. At that time, James Hebl, MD, regional vice president of Mayo Clinic Health System, said the facilities faced staffing challenges, dwindling patient volumes and other issues. The hospital in Springfield is one of eight hospitals within a less than 40-mile radius, which has led to declining admissions and low use of the emergency department, Dr. Hebl said.

Faith Community Health System
Faith Community Health System, a single-hospital system based in Jacksboro, Texas and part of the Jack County (Texas) Hospital District, first entered Chapter 9 bankruptcy — a bankruptcy proceeding that offers distressed municipalities protection from creditors while a repayment plan is negotiated — in February. The bankruptcy court dismissed the case May 26 at the request of the health system. The health system asked the court to dismiss the bankruptcy case to allow it to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan through a Small Business Association lender. On June 11, Faith Community Health System reentered Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Pinnacle Healthcare System
Overland Park, Kan.-based Pinnacle Healthcare System and its hospitals in Missouri and Kansas filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 12. Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville, Mo., formerly known as Cooper County Memorial Hospital, entered bankruptcy about a month after it abruptly shut down. Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Overland Park, formerly called Blue Valley Hospital, closed about two months after entering bankruptcy.

Central Hospital of Bowie (Texas)
Central Hospital of Bowie abruptly closed Feb. 4. Hospital officials said the facility was shut down to enable them to restructure the business. Hospital leaders voluntarily surrendered the license for Central Hospital of Bowie.

Ellwood City (Pa.) Medical Center
Ellwood City Medical Center officially closed Jan. 31. The hospital was operating under a provisional license in November when the Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered it to suspend inpatient and emergency services due to serious violations, including failure to pay employees and the inability to offer surgical services. The hospital’s owner, Americore Health, suspended all clinical services at Ellwood City Medical Center Dec. 10. At that time, hospital officials said they hoped to reopen the facility in January. Plans to reopen were halted Jan. 3 after the health department conducted an onsite inspection and determined the hospital “had not shown its suitability to resume providing any health care services.”

Thomas Health (South Charleston, W.Va.)
Thomas Health and its two hospitals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 10. In an affidavit filed in the bankruptcy case, Thomas Health President and CEO Daniel J. Lauffer cited several reasons the health system is facing financial challenges, including reduced reimbursement rates and patient outmigration. The health system announced June 18 that it reached an agreement in principle with a new capital partner that would allow it to emerge from bankruptcy.

St. Vincent Medical Center (Los Angeles)
St. Vincent Medical Center closed in January, roughly three weeks after El Segundo, Calif.-based Verity Health announced plans to shut down the 366-bed hospital. Verity, a nonprofit health system that entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, shut down St. Vincent after a deal to sell four of its hospitals fell through. In April, Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Times, purchased St. Vincent out of bankruptcy for $135 million.

Astria Regional Medical Center (Yakima, Wash.)
Astria Regional Medical Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2019 and closed in January. When the hospital closed, 463 employees lost their jobs. Attorneys representing Astria Health said the closure of Astria Regional Medical Center, which has lost $40 million since 2017, puts Astria Health in a better financial position. “As a result of the closure … the rest of the system’s cash flows will be sufficient to safely operate patient care operations and facilities and maintain administrative solvency of the estate,” states a status report filed Jan. 20 with the bankruptcy court.

 

 

 

State-by-state breakdown of 130 rural hospital closures

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/state-by-state-breakdown-of-130-rural-hospital-closures.html

Rural Hospital Closures Hit Poor, Minority Communities Hardest ...

Nearly one in five Americans live in rural areas and depend on their local hospital for care. Over the past 10 years, 130 of those hospitals have closed.

Thirty-three states have seen at least one rural hospital shut down since 2010, and the closures are heavily clustered in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the ACA, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

Twenty-one rural hospitals in Texas have closed since 2010, the most of any state. Tennessee has the second-most closures, with 13 rural hospitals shutting down in the past decade. In third place is Oklahoma with eight closures. 

Listed below are the 130 rural hospitals that have closed since Jan. 1, 2010, as tracked by the Sheps Center. For the purposes of its analysis, the Sheps Center defined a hospital closure as the cessation in the provision of inpatient services.

“We follow the convention of the Office of Inspector General that a closed hospital is ‘a facility that stopped providing general, short-term, acute inpatient care,'” reads a statement on the Sheps Center’s website. “We did not consider a hospital closed if it: merged with, or was sold to, another hospital but the physical plant continued to provide inpatient acute care, converted to critical access status, or both closed and reopened during the same calendar year and at the same physical location.”

As of June 8, all 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.

Alabama
SouthWest Alabama Medical Center (Thomasville)
Randolph Medical Center (Roanoke)
Chilton Medical Center (Clanton)
Florence Memorial Hospital
Elba General Hospital
Georgiana Medical Center

Alaska
Sitka Community Hospital

Arizona
Cochise Regional Hospital (Douglas)
Hualapai Mountain Medical Center (Kingman)
Florence Community Healthcare

Arkansas
De Queen Medical Center

California
Kingsburg Medical Center
Corcoran District Hospital
Adventist Health Feather River (Paradise)
Coalinga Regional Medical Center

Florida
Campbellton-Graceville Hospital
Regional General Hospital (Williston)
Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center
Shands Starke Regional Medical Center

Georgia
Hart County Hospital (Harwell)
Charlton Memorial Hospital (Folkston)
Calhoun Memorial Hospital (Arlington)
Stewart-Webster Hospital (Richland)
Lower Oconee Community Hospital (Glenwood)
North Georgia Medical Center (Ellijay)

Illinois
St. Mary’s Hospital (Streator)

Indiana
Fayette Regional Health System

Kansas
Central Kansas Medical Center (Great Bend)
Mercy Hospital Independence
Mercy Hospital Fort Scott
Horton Community Hospital
Oswego Community Hospital
Sumner Community Hospital (Wellington)

Kentucky
Nicholas County Hospital (Carlisle)
Parkway Regional Hospital (Fulton)
New Horizons Medical Center (Owenton)
Westlake Regional Hospital (Columbia)

Louisiana
Doctor’s Hospital at Deer Creek (Leesville)

Maine
St. Andrews Hospital (Boothbay Harbor)
Southern Maine Health Care-Sanford Medical Center
Parkview Adventist Medical Center (Brunswick)

Maryland
Edward W. McCready Memorial Hospital (Crisfield)

Massachusetts
North Adams Regional Hospital

Michigan
Cheboygan Memorial Hospital

Minnesota
Lakeside Medical Center
Albany Area Hospital
Albert Lea-Mayo Clinic Health System
Mayo Clinic Health System-Springfield

Mississippi
Patient’s Choice Medical of Humphreys County (Belzoni)
Pioneer Community Hospital of Newton
Merit Health Natchez-Community Campus
Kilmichael Hospital
Quitman County Hospital (Marks)

Missouri
Sac-Osage Hospital (Osceola)
Parkland Health Center-Weber Road (Farmington)
Southeast Health Center of Reynolds County (Ellington)
Southeast Health Center of Ripley County (Doniphan)
Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center (Kennett)
I-70 Community Hospital (Sweet Springs)
Pinnacle Regional Hospital (Boonville)

Nebraska
Tilden Community Hospital

Nevada
Nye Regional Medical Center (Tonopah)

New York
Lake Shore Health Care Center
Moses-Ludington Hospital (Ticonderoga)

North Carolina
Blowing Rock Hospital
Vidant Pungo Hospital (Belhaven)
Novant Health Franklin Medical Center (Louisburg)
Yadkin Valley Community Hospital (Yadkinville)
Our Community Hospital (Scotland Neck)
Sandhills Regional Medical Center (Hamlet)
Davie Medical Center-Mocksville

Ohio
Physicians Choice Hospital-Fremont
Doctors Hospital of Nelsonville

Oklahoma
Muskogee Community Hospital
Epic Medical Center (Eufaula)
Memorial Hospital & Physician Group (Frederick)
Latimer County General Hospital (Wilburton)
Pauls Valley General Hospital
Sayre Community Hospital
Haskell County Community Hospital (Stigler)
Mercy Hospital El Reno

Pennsylvania
Saint Catherine Medical Center Fountain Springs (Ashland)
Mid-Valley Hospital (Peckville)
Ellwood City Medical Center
UPMC Susquehanna Sunbury

South Carolina
Bamberg County Memorial Hospital
Marlboro Park Hospital (Bennettsville)
Southern Palmetto Hospital (Barnwell)
Fairfield Memorial Hospital (Winnsboro)

South Dakota
Holy Infant Hospital (Hoven)

Tennessee
Riverview Regional Medical Center South (Carthage)
Starr Regional Medical Center-Etowah
Haywood Park Community Hospital (Brownsville)
Gibson General Hospital (Trenton)
Humboldt General Hospital
United Regional Medical Center (Manchester)
Parkridge West Hospital (Jasper)
Tennova Healthcare-McNairy Regional (Selmer)
Copper Basin Medical Center (Copperhill)
McKenzie Regional Hospital
Jamestown Regional Medical Center
Takoma Regional Hospital (Greeneville)
Decatur County General Hospital (Parsons)

Texas
Wise Regional Health System-Bridgeport
Shelby Regional Medical Center
Renaissance Hospital Terrell
East Texas Medical Center-Mount Vernon
East Texas Medical Center-Clarksville
East Texas Medical Center-Gilmer
Good Shepherd Medical Center (Linden)
Lake Whitney Medical Center (Whitney)
Hunt Regional Community Hospital of Commerce
Gulf Coast Medical Center (Wharton)
Nix Community General Hospital (Dilley)
Weimar Medical Center
Care Regional Medical Center (Aransas Pass)
East Texas Medical Center-Trinity
Little River Healthcare Cameron Hospital
Little River Healthcare Rockdale Hospital
Stamford Memorial Hospital
Texas General-Van Zandt Regional Medical Center (Grand Saline)
Hamlin Memorial Hospital
Chillicothe Hospital
Central Hospital of Bowie

Virginia
Lee Regional Medical Center (Pennington Gap)
Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick County (Stuart)
Mountain View Regional Hospital (Norton)

West Virginia
Williamson Memorial Hospital
Fairmont Regional Medical Center

Wisconsin
Franciscan Skemp Medical Center (Arcadia)

 

 

 

 

These Hospitals Pinned Their Hopes on Private Management Companies. Now They’re Deeper in Debt.

https://www.propublica.org/article/these-hospitals-pinned-their-hopes-on-private-management-companies-now-theyre-deeper-in-debt?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Does+the+US+Spend+Too+Much+on+Police%3F&utm_campaign=TFT+Newsletter+06042020

At least 13 hospitals in Oklahoma have closed or experienced added financial distress under the management of private companies. Some companies charged hefty management fees, promising to infuse millions of dollars that never materialized.

Revenues soared at some rural hospitals after management companies introduced laboratory services programs, but those gains quickly vanished when insurers accused them of gaming reimbursement rates and halted payments. Some companies charged hefty management fees, promising to infuse millions of dollars but never investing. In other cases, companies simply didn’t have the hospital management experience they trumpeted.

Click on link above for examples of rural hospitals that pinned their hopes on private management companies that left them deeper in debt. They are based on interviews, public records and financial information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the American Hospital Directory.

Medicaid expansion key indicator for rural hospitals’ financial viability

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/medicaid-expansion-rural-hospitals-health-affairs/579005/

Hospital Closures, Underfunded Health Centers In Ohio Valley ...

Dive Brief:

  • Struggling rural hospitals are faring better financially in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new Health Affairs study examining 1,004 rural hospitals’ CMS cost reports submitted from 2011 to 2017.
  • Among rural, nonprofit critical access hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid, the median overall margin increased from 1.8% to 3.7%, while it dropped from 3.5% to 2.8% in states that did not expand the program.
  • Tax-exempt status played another key role in determining rural hospitals’ financial viability. During the study period, the median overall profit margin at nonprofit critical access hospitals rose from 2.5% to 3.2%, while it dropped among for-profit operators from 3.2% to 0.4%.

Dive Insight:

The unprecedented financial distress mega health systems are under amid the ongoing pandemic is all too familiar to rural hospitals.

These systems are often smaller, employing fewer specialists and less medical technology, thus limiting the variety of services they can provide and profit on. They remain the closest point of care for millions of Americans, yet face rising closures.

The good news is that most rural hospitals are nonprofit, the designation that fared best in Health Affairs’ six-year study. More than 80% of the 1,004 private, rural hospitals analyzed in the study were nonprofit, while 17% were for-profit.

But researchers found Medicaid expansion played a key role in rural hospitals’ financial viability during the study period, with closures occurring more often in the South than in other regions.

Thirty-seven states have expanded Medicaid under the ACA, but 14 have not, and a majority of them are concentrated in the southern U.S., according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

One of those states is Oklahoma, which on Monday withdrew its planned July 1 Medicaid expansion, citing a lack of funding.

Another factor researchers found positively associated with overall margins and financial viability was charge markups, or the charged amount for a service relative to the Medicare allowable cost. Hospitals with low-charge markups had median overall margins of 1.8%, while those with high-charge markups had margins at 3.5%.

The same is true for occupancy rates. In 2017, rural hospitals with low occupancy rates had median overall profit margins of 0.1% Those with high occupancy rates had margins of 4.7%.

That presents a unique challenge for rural hospitals. Reimbursements from public and private payers do not compensate for fixed costs associated with providing standby capacity, which is essential in rural communities, where few hospitals serve large geographic areas.

Since 1997, CMS has been granting rural hospitals — particularly those with 25 or fewer acute care inpatient beds and located more than 35 miles from another hospital — critical access status, reimbursing them at cost for treating Medicare patients.

In the Health Affairs study, critical access hospitals accounted for 21% of the rural hospital bed capacity, with the remaining 79% of bed capacity provided by noncritical access hospitals.

 

 

 

 

Billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong buys California hospital for $135M

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-transactions-and-valuation/billionaire-dr-patrick-soon-shiong-buys-california-hospital-for-135m.html?utm_medium=email

Not just the richest man in LA, he is also a humanitarian

Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Times, has purchased a Los Angeles hospital out of bankruptcy for $135 million. 

Dr. Soon-Shiong acquired St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles from El Segundo, Calif.-based Verity Health. Verity filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018 and closed St. Vincent Medical Center in January. 

Under the purchase agreement, Dr. Soon-Shiong will take over the state of California’s lease obligations at St. Vincent. In March, the state used emergency COVID-19 funding to lease St. Vincent. The state reopened the facility, now called the Los Angeles Surge Hospital, through a partnership with Los Angeles County, Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente and San Francisco-based Dignity Health.

Dr. Soon-Shiong will use other buildings on the St. Vincent campus to conduct COVID-19 research. 

“St. Vincent is Los Angeles’ oldest hospital with a storied history of innovation and caring for the poor,” Dr. Soon-Shiong said. “Through the acquisition of this closed campus, we can ensure an ongoing legacy of preparedness against viral threats such as COVID-19.”

St. Vincent is the second hospital Verity has sold this month. On April 9, the health system announced it would sell St. Francis Medical Center in Lynnwood, Calif., to Prime Healthcare Services, a for-profit hospital operator based in Ontario, Calif.

 

 

 

 

Hospital M&A update: 6 latest deals

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-transactions-and-valuation/hospital-m-a-update-6-latest-deals.html?utm_medium=email

Looking at Hospital M&A Activity in the Value-Based Care World ...

Six transactions involving hospitals and health systems announced, finalized or advanced in the last month:

1. Bankrupt Verity Health to sell 384-bed hospital to Prime Healthcare Services
Bankrupt Verity Health System will sell its 384-bed hospital in Lynnwood, Calif., to for-profit hospital operator Prime Healthcare Services.

2. Kootenai Health acquires 2 hospitals from Essentia Health
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based Kootenai Health has acquired two hospitals from Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health.

3. West Virginia hospital on brink of closure secures buyer
A bankruptcy court has approved a $3.7 million bid for Williamson (W.Va.) Hospital. The new owner, Williamson Health & Wellness Center, will take over the facility on April 30.

4. Christus Health finalizes acquisition of AdventHealth’s 170-bed hospital
Christus Health has finalized its acquisition of Central Texas Medical Center, a 170-bed facility in San Marcos.

5. CarePoint Health reaches deal to sell New Jersey hospital
After months of uncertainty about a potential sale, Jersey City, N.J.-based CarePoint Health has agreed to sell one of its hospitals to Bayonne, N.J.-based BMC Hospital.

6. Penn Highlands Healthcare to absorb Pennsylvania hospital
Tyrone (Pa) Hospital plans to integrate with DuBois, Pa.-based Penn Highlands Healthcare, the two organizations announced March 18.

 

 

 

Hospitals will need a Bailout

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/kaleida-health-ceo-hospitals-will-need-a-bailout.html?utm_medium=email

We Tracked the Last Time the Government Bailed Out the… — ProPublica

The CEO of Kaleida Health in Buffalo, N.Y., said hospitals will likely need a bailout due to COVID-19, according to local news station WGRZ.

Kaleida Health President and CEO Jody Lomeo highlighted parallels between hospitals and U.S. automakers during the Great Recession. 

“I would think there’s gonna have to be some reimbursement on some level and we’ve seen some of that already with the [recent federal] stimulus bill. We’re gonna need support,” he told WGRZ. He added that his health system “can survive for a couple of months; after that I would be really nervous.”

While federal stimulus funds have begun flowing to hospitals nationwide, hospital CEOs are blasting HHS’ decision to distribute the first $30 billion in emergency funding based on Medicare fee-for-service revenue. HHS said April 10 it would allocate money to hospitals and providers based on their historical share of revenue from the Medicare program, rather than the burden caused by the coronavirus or number of uninsured patients treated.

 

 

 

 

State-by-state breakdown of 354 rural hospitals at high risk of closing

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/state-by-state-breakdown-of-354-rural-hospitals-at-high-risk-of-closing.html?utm_medium=email

What Rural Hospital Closures Mean for EMS Professionals

Twenty-five percent of the 1,430 rural hospitals in the U.S. are at high risk of closing unless their finances improve, according to an annual analysis from Guidehouse, a consulting firm. 

The 354 rural hospitals at high risk of closing are spread across 40 states and represent more than 222,000 annual discharges. According to the analysis, 287 of these hospitals — 81 percent — are considered highly essential to the health and economic wellbeing of their communities.

Several factors are putting rural hospitals at risk of closing, according to the analysis, which looked at operating margin, days cash on hand, debt-to-capitalization ratio, current ratio and inpatient census to determine the financial viability of rural hospitals. Declining inpatient volume, clinician shortages, payer mix degradation and revenue cycle management challenges are among the factors driving the rural hospital crisis.

The Guidehouse study analyzed the financial viability of rural hospitals prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the authors noted that the rural hospital crisis could significantly worsen due to the pandemic or any downturn in the economy. 

Here are the number and percentage of rural hospitals at high risk of closing in each state based on the analysis:

Tennessee
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 19 (68 percent)

Alabama
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 18 (60 percent)

Oklahoma
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 28 (60 percent)

Arkansas
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 18 (53 percent)

Mississippi
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 25 (50 percent)

West Virginia
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 9 (50 percent)

South Carolina
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (44 percent)

Georgia
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 14 (41 percent)

Kentucky
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 18 (40 percent)

Louisiana
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 11 (37 percent)

Maine
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 7 (33 percent)

Indiana
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 8 (31 percent)

Kansas
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 26 (31 percent)

New Mexico
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 3 (30 percent)

Michigan
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 13 (29 percent)

Missouri
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 10 (26 percent)

Virginia
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 5 (25 percent)

Oregon
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (24 percent)

California
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 6 (23 percent)

North Carolina
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 6 (23 percent)

Florida
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 2 (22 percent)

North Dakota
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 7 (21 percent)

Ohio
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 6 (20 percent)

Vermont
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 2 (20 percent)

Idaho
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (19 percent)

Pennsylvania
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (19 percent)

Washington
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 5 (18 percent)

Wyoming
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 3 (18 percent)

Texas
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 14 (16 percent)

Colorado
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (14 percent)

Illinois
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 7 (14 percent)

Montana
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 7 (14 percent)

Nebraska
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 8 (13 percent)

New York
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 4 (13 percent)

Iowa
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 9 (12 percent)

Minnesota
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 8 (11 percent)

Alaska
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 1 (10 percent)

Arizona
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 1 (10 percent)

New Hampshire
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 1 (9 percent)

Wisconsin
Rural hospitals at high risk of closing: 5 (9 percent)

 

 

 

Philadelphia hospital won’t reopen to treat COVID-19 patients

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/patient-flow/philadelphia-hospital-won-t-reopen-to-treat-covid-19-patients.html?utm_medium=email

Closed Philadelphia Hospital Won't Be Used To Treat COVID-19 Patients

Hahnemann University Hospital, which closed last year, will not be reopened to treat COVID-19 patients, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced March 26.

Philadelphia leaders identified Hahnemann as a possible site to quarantine patients who have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19. However, the mayor said the city is ending its effort to rent the shuttered hospital after negotiations with the hospital’s owner, Joel Freedman, failed to progress.

“We need to focus on the crisis at hand — including the need to develop facilities that will serve as field hospitals, as quarantine space, and as isolation space — facilities that will help save lives,” Mr. Kenney said. “We will focus our energies on working with other property owners in order to find temporary solutions to these absolutely vital needs. And I fully expect that we will find owners who are ready and willing to step up, to work with us, to do what is best for all Philadelphians.”

Talks collapsed a few days after Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said negotiations with Mr. Freedman were not going well.

“I think he is looking at how to turn an asset that is earning no revenue into an asset that earns some revenue, and isn’t actually particularly thinking through what the impacts are on public health,” Mr. Abernathy said of Mr. Freedman at a March 24 press briefing, according to WHYY. “I think he’s looking at this as a business transaction rather than providing an imminent and important aid to the city and our residents.”

Regarding the city’s decision to end negotiations, Mr. Freedman’s Broad Street Healthcare Properties provided the following statement to Becker’s:

“We appreciate and applaud the city’s efforts to address the health crisis quickly. We understand that the city doesn’t feel that the Hahnemann building currently fits their urgent needs as a quarantine site. Should the situation change we stand ready to reengage in discussions on how the city or the state can best use the facility.”

 

 

 

Hospital leaders plead for financial help, warn of closures, missing payroll

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/hospital-leaders-plead-for-financial-help-warn-of-closures-missing-payrol/574625/

Hospital executives from across the country sounded the alarm Saturday about the dire need for federal financial aid as their cash on hand continues to erode amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ll exhaust all avenues to make payroll in the next few weeks,” Scott Graham, CEO of Three Rivers and North Valley Hospitals in rural Washington said of Three Rivers during a call with reporters Saturday morning.

The American Hospital Association is urging lawmakers on Capitol Hill to consider deploying at least $100 billion to aid hospitals fight against the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The relief package would fund medical personnel, supplies and infrastructure, and expenses related to COVID-19, Rick Pollack, CEO of AHA, told reporters.

Without a relief package, Pollack warned it “could mean that many hospitals won’t survive.” The pleas came as Congress debates a stimulus package this weekend.

American life has ground to halt as experts urge the public to distance themselves from others in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Many states closed bars and restaurants with virtually all group events canceled. Likewise, hospitals have been asked — or required in some locales — to halt all elective procedures to free up resources for an expected surge of patients.

But hospitals rely on those typically lucrative procedures to drive revenue. Some hospitals are starting to wonder how they’ll keep the lights on after facing the reality of canceled procedures and the need to increase staff and supplies to combat the pathogen.

On top of that, hospitals are unable to get much needed supplies as some vendors are requiring payment on delivery, funds they do not have.

There is no time to waste, hospital leaders warned, citing less than two weeks cash on hand.

“We need to get this done now,” Pollack said of an emergency funding package from the federal government.

Despite the dire financial strain, hospitals are still preparing to increase capacity to meet a surge in demand. It’s unclear whether they will be reimbursed for all expenses related to increasing the amount of beds, capacity and supplies.

Some areas were already facing a shortage of nurses and physicians before the outbreak and anticipate that to become worse.

“In spite of our existing financial challenges, we are planning to increase capacity because that is what we must do,” LaRay Brown, CEO of One Brooklyn Health System in New York, said Saturday. One Brooklyn​ operates three hospitals, nursing homes and community health centers in New York, serving about 2 million.

Brown said all hospitals in New York were asked Friday by state health officials to submit plans for the upping of capacity by 50% of existing bed count.

Brown anticipates receiving some support from the state of New York but seemed wary of the state’s future financial footing as it battles the pathogen as well, and with a weakened tax base as businesses have shuttered.

“This is why I’m on this call,” Brown said. “We need immediate cash relief from the federal government.”