CHS affiliate to close two Tenn. hospitals this week
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Tennova Healthcare, part of Community Health Systems, will close two Tennessee hospitals this week.
Physicians Regional Medical Center in Knoxville and Lakeway Regional Hospital in Morristown will cease operations on Dec. 28.
Tennova announced plans in October to close the two facilities, stating plans to boost local ambulatory facilities and physician practices in the area after seeing decreased demand for hospital beds. According to Modern Healthcare Metrics, one of the facilities, Lakeway, had seen acute inpatient days fall from 10,158 in 2014 to 5,602 last year.
Tennova in recent year has invested in renovating two other local hospitals, Powell and Farragut. Those two projects are expected to be completed this summer.
Tony Benton, CEO of Tennova Healthcare in East Tennessee, said in a press release in October that, "Strengthening our network and pursuing new outpatient strategies is critical to meet the needs and preferences of today's healthcare consumers and support the way our physician partners prefer to practice."
Services provided at Physicians Regional have moved to North Knoxville Medical Center and Turkey Creek Medical Center and many staffers and physicians have transferred to those facilities, according to a press release.
And a large percentage of that population has historically come through Physicians Regional Medical Center's emergency department, not only because its mission as the former St. Mary's Catholic hospital demanded it and it's located close to special needs housing and homeless populations, but also because it had a 14-bed inpatient psychiatric unit on the same campus — something no other Knoxville hospital has.
Local media has reported that patient advocates are concerned about patients who benefited from Physicians' 14-bed psychiatric unit. Tennova closed that unit Nov. 9.
Tennova spokeswoman Ann Metz told local tv station Knox News that admissions to the unit had stopped and all patients had "completed their plan(s) of care."
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