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Rural Hospital Closure Announced in Tennessee

‘The closure reflects a national trend . . .’

A rural Tennessee hospital about two hours north of Corinth announced last month that it will close.

The 45-bed McKenzie Regional Hospital in McKenzie, Tenn., said in July that it would discontinue most of its services by Sept. 15.

Baptist Memorial Health Care will purchase MRH’s assets, including the hospital’s real property and ambulance service, a news release said.

“The closure reflects a national trend as small rural hospitals feel the impacts of reductions in federal funding, lower reimbursements from government and commercial insurers, and rising numbers of uninsured patients,” the release added. “MRH has struggled with declining patient volumes in recent years and has maintained an average daily census of just eight patients.”

Roughly 200 employees will be affected, and they will be provided assistance to help them connect with other regional employers.

Baptist plans to operate the outpatient diagnostic imaging center and sleep center located on the MRH campus.

Ambulance services will likely be transitioned to Priority Ambulance.

“We are fortunate to live in a community with numerous quality health care providers,” MRH CEO Michael Morrical said in the news release. “We will coordinate with local providers to assist with a smooth transition for patients, and we’ll work closely with our dedicated team to help in their personal transitions as well.”

In addition to McKenzie Regional, residents of Carroll County, Tenn. and the surrounding areas are served by several larger health care providers.

Located within 10 miles of the MRH campus, 70-bed Baptist Memorial Hospital-Huntingdon offers a range of services including general surgery, cardiology, pain management and radiology.

Additional services, including obstetrics, cancer care and orthopedics, are available at 142-bed Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tenn., approximately 15 miles from MRH.

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