CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - SoutheastHEALTH announced on Tuesday, Feb. 9 that it will close the Southeast Health Center of Reynolds County and related clinics located in Ellington and Van Buren, Missouri.
Operations are expected stop effective March 11.
SoutheastHEALTH, which has owned the hospital and clinics since 2013, announced the closings having recently been informed from state Medicaid officials of a $6 million liability owed from the previous owners, Advanced Healthcare. SoutheastHEALTH received notification from Advanced Healthcare of their inability to pay this debt as called for in the purchase agreement.
"We understand that this won't be an easy time for many patients, providers and staff," Ken Bateman, SoutheastHEALTH's president and chief executive officer, said. "However, we cannot compromise the financial strength of the entire health system by continuing to absorb losses. In the three years of ownership of Southeast Health Center of Reynolds County, we have absorbed over $17 million in operating losses. With the addition of this liability, we cannot see a viable path forward."
The Reynolds county hospital employs 45 full-time employees and 18 part-time employees, according to Director of Marketing Shauna Hoffman. On average, the facility only fills one to two patient beds daily. They also only have an average of 10 to 12 emergency room visits daily.
SoutheastHEALTH is evaluating relocation options for dozens of employees to system facilities in Doniphan, Dexter, Poplar Bluff and Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and will notify employees about opportunities as soon as possible.
For those employees who cannot be relocated, SoutheastHEALTH will provide a severance package based on job tenure and performance.
SoutheastHEALTH is reaching out to local health care resources to assist in transitioning patients' medical care.