Cheboygan (Mich.) Memorial Hospital said it has been forced to shut down Tuesday after a proposed sale of the facility to McLaren Health Care Corp. was blocked, throwing hopes of preserving health services at the area's largest employer into doubt.
Mich. hospital says it's closing down
The sale of the northern Lower Peninsula hospital to Flint-based McLaren was expected to wrap up Tuesday but came to a halt late Monday amid regulatory issues, the Cheboygan Daily Tribune reported. The Board of Trustees of Cheboygan Memorial Hospital voted to close, saying it didn't have the money to stay open.
The hospital's CEO Shari Schult said the facility's emergency room will be closed and that arrangements will be made to divert ambulances to other hospitals. She said in a statement that other services also will be shut down, including outpatient clinics, laboratories and rehabilitation.
"It's very frustrating that in spite of all the work put into this effort that we were unable to secure healthcare in Cheboygan," Schult said.
Kevin Tompkins, a spokesman for McLaren, told The Associated Press the health system plans to work with Cheboygan-area doctors to preserve health services in the region. He said McLaren learned Monday that if it went through with the purchase, it might not be able to operate the hospital for six months or longer because of licensing issues.
"We're frustrated and disappointed that we couldn't get this where we needed it to be," Tompkins said.
A message seeking additional information was left Tuesday with a representative of CMH.
CMH on March 1 announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after losing more than $7 million last year. A federal judge earlier approved the sale to McLaren. But CMH said it couldn't get proper federal approval for its emergency services and outpatient surgery area to continue operating in time.
"CMH will have a period of time in which they will wind down," Schult stated. "We'll cease operations, but there will be a period of time when we'll have to wind down the (entire) corporation."
Cheboygan Memorial Hospital is the largest employer in rural Cheboygan County, with a staff of about 400. The hospital and its Indian River facility were to close, Schult said. The hospital had offered limited services on Monday, including the emergency room, as it prepared to transition to McLaren's ownership.
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