A year after acquiring three hospitals in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., area from Community Health Systems, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. has closed them all.
Citing low acute-care occupancy and excess hospital beds in Pinellas County, the Nashville-based investor-owned chain closed Columbia University General Hospital in Seminole, Fla., and is expected to discharge the last of the facility's patients this week.
"It wasn't a bad hospital, and they were doing well; but they couldn't operate a viable hospital with the patients they had," said Columbia spokesman Jeff Prescott.
Just last year, Columbia acquired 152-bed University General, 154-bed Pinellas Community Hospital, Pinellas Park, and 99-bed Women's Hospital and Medical Center, Seminole, as part of a five-hospital swap with Community. Pinellas and Women's Hospital were later consolidated into University and other Tampa facilities.
As part of the swap, Columbia also acquired 95-bed Hillside Hospital in Pulaski, Tenn. In return, Community received 110-bed North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview, Fla. Columbia had agreed to sell North Okaloosa as part of a Federal Trade Commission order that allowed Columbia to complete its March 1995 merger with Healthtrust.
Columbia University General had net income of $3.7 million on net patient revenues of $25.6 million in 1995, the latest year for which financial data were available from HCIA, a Baltimore-based healthcare information company. With 128 of its acute-care beds in service, the hospital's occupancy rate was 31.7% that year, HCIA said.
The area is viewed as overbedded.
Poor patient census in Pinellas County was also cited in the closing last week of a 130-bed psychiatric hospital in Tarpon Springs, Fla. Northpointe Behavioral Health System, formerly known as The Manors before changing its name last year, confirmed it would discontinue operations in the next three months.
With the latest closure, the Columbia Tampa Bay Division has 13 hospitals in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk counties.