Succumbing to mounting losses on operations, Sacred Heart Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Norristown, Pa., closed its doors after an emergency meeting of its board of trustees last week.
Patient volume in the three-hospital town couldn't sustain services at the acute-care hospital, which was licensed for 272 beds, a spokesman said. During the first nine months of fiscal 1994, Sacred Heart recorded losses of $2.2 million, he said.
According to HCIA, a Baltimore-based healthcare research company, the hospital lost $6.8 million on net patient revenues of $45.7 million in fiscal 1993.
Sacred Heart had been involved in merger talks with neighboring Montgomery Hospital until last week's closure. A spokesman couldn't explain why the talks ended so suddenly. But in a written statement, Sacred Heart said it lacked the resources "to sustain the services necessary to guarantee quality care for our patients," forcing the hospital to "take the necessary steps not to place them in jeopardy."
The hospital's 97 patients were transferred to Montgomery and Suburban General Hospital in Norristown, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital in Malvern, Pa., and Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia.
Local hospitals provided on-site placement services last week in an effort to help find jobs for some of the 870 employees who were let go. The Sacred Heart spokesman said no employees would be getting severance payments.
No decision has been made about whether to liquidate the hospital or try to reorganize, the spokesman said. Russell Walsh, the hospital's president for the past two years, hadn't announced his plans.
In 1987, Sacred Heart sold some $30 million in insured bonds, so bondholders are guaranteed payment regardless of the hospital's future status. Its total liabilities topped $43 million, according to HCIA.
Sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart in Reading, Pa., the hospital had served the community since 1936.