An ailing bottom line has forced Metropolitan Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn., to close it doors after about 40 years of service.
The 64-bed downtown hospital closed once its 70 employees were notified on Dec. 9, administrator Herb Pratt said. Employees were told in September that the hospital might close by year's end.
"It was simple economics," Mr. Pratt said. "There was more going out than coming in. We were averaging about 20 to 25 patients a day."
Some healthcare executives have said Chattanooga has as many as 1,000 hospital beds it doesn't need, and that some of the area's 10 facilities would eventually have to close or take beds out of service.
Metropolitan opened in the mid-1950s as the Tepper Hospital and Clinic, named after its founder, Jack Tepper. Nashville, Tenn.-based American Healthcorp bought the facility in 1982 and changed its name to Metropolitan.
In 1984, Santa Monica, Calif.-based National Medical Enterprises bought the hospital and transformed it into a facility specializing in pediatrics and diabetes treatment. Two years later, the hospital was sold to Forum Health Investors, Dallas. The same year, Forum merged into Summitt Management Co., a privately held Atlanta firm.