After $30 million in losses since 1994, the Singing River Hospital System in Pascagoula, Miss., announced last week it has scrapped an ambitious effort to recruit doctors and open clinics in Jackson County.
The Jackson County Medical Association was a foundation the system's board of directors formed six years ago to handle the business side of new medical practices. But "it just wasn't economically feasible," system spokesman Richard Lucas said.
The system formed the foundation in an attempt to acquire medical practices. The foundation also built and bought clinics, growing to 15 clinics with 33 doctors.
In June, hospital officials said the foundation was failing despite an infusion of about $30 million during the past six years. System profits plunged as a result of the ill-fated venture. In 1996 the system reported profits of $13.5 million. Last year, profits had plummeted to just $677,000. A debt of $59.6 million was reported in September 1999.
The board voted near midnight on Halloween to close the foundation.