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Amory Hospital Files for Bankruptcy

For Corinth Today

Gilmore Memorial Hospital, its parent company Curae Health and its two other Mississippi hospitals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday.

A Curae Health statement released by Gilmore Memorial Hospital said that day-to-day operations at Gilmore and its affiliated hospitals in Batesville and Clarksdale will not change. Curae Health, whose Russellville, Alabama, hospital is not included in the reorganization bankruptcy filing, said it expects to sell the hospitals as part of proceedings.

“The goal of this filing is to ensure that the communities where these hospitals are located will continue to have access to local healthcare services,” according to the statement.

According to bankruptcy filings made in Nashville, Curae Health and the three hospitals have $3.4 million in cash and cash equivalents and $96 million in liabilities. It owes lender ServisFirst $18.8 million. It owes Community Health Systems, which previously owned the three hospitals, $28.6 million.

“Many rural hospitals across the country have faced year-over-year financial challenges due to government funding cuts, unfunded care mandates and other pressures,” according to the hospital statement. “Our hospitals were not immune to these issues and after exhausting other possibilities, the decision was clear that the hospitals could not continue to operate under mounting debt and tightening financial resources.”

The Curae hospitals are not alone in their bankruptcy filings. Magee General Hospital filed bankruptcy on Friday.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the end of the road,” said Richard Roberson, Mississippi Hospital Association general counsel and vice president for policy and state advocacy.

Mississippi’s hospitals big and small are facing perfect storms of declining reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers at the same time that costs are rising for equipment, supplies and maintaining electronic health records.

“Large hospitals are feeling the pressure,” Roberson said. “But it’s a more acute situation in rural hospitals.”

Although five rural Mississippi hospitals have closed since 2010, people in Amory, Clarksdale and Batesville aren’t without important resources, Roberson said.

“You’ve got good doctors, good nurses and good staff willing to take care of patients,” Roberson said. “You just hope, from the hospital perspective, they’re able to make the finances work.”

In Monroe County, Pioneer Hospital in Aberdeen emerged from the bankruptcy of its parent corporation. Now operating as Monroe Regional Hospital, it is currently owned by a private group.

Tupelo-based North Mississippi Health Services and Memphis-based Baptist Memorial Healthcare made offers to purchase OCH Regional Hospital in Starkville last year. The systems both have hospitals in the same regional market as Gilmore.

“We are aware of the bankruptcy filing for Gilmore Memorial Hospital and we are in the process of learning more about Curae Health’s situation,” according to a statement from North Mississippi Health Services.

No comment was available from Baptist Memorial at press time.{span class=”print_trim”}

Changing partners

If Gilmore is sold, it will be the fourth time the hospital has changed hands since 2005.

Founded as Gilmore Sanitarium in December 1916, the 95-bed Amory hospital was the last free-standing, private, nonprofit hospital in Northeast Mississippi when it was purchased by for-profit Health Management Associates in 2005. At the time, hospital leaders cited health care business trends that made it difficult for even healthy hospitals to stand alone. In November 2015, for-profit Community Health Systems acquired Gilmore and nine other Mississippi hospitals as part of a merger with Florida-based Health Management Associates.

Curae Health purchased Gilmore and the Batesville hospital from Community Health Systems in May 2017 and returned the hospitals to not-for-profit status. It purchased the Clarksdale hospital in November 2017, the same month it closed the Hayleyville, Alabama hospital.

One Comment

  1. don hastings don hastings August 30, 2018

    this is what happens when insurance companys don’t pay what they should now they want t bundle thing so they dont have to pay.but they want you to pay for health insurance but them companys like blue cross blue shield DO NOT WANT TO PAY A PATIENT’S BILL

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