McKenzie Regional Hospital (MRH) has announced it will discontinue most patient services, including the emergency department, by September 15. The 45-bed hospital has notified the Tennessee Department of Health and will begin reducing new admissions in the coming weeks. Patients currently receiving care at MRH will not be affected.

MRH

McKenzie Regional Hospital, photo by Ray Nanney 

An asset purchase agreement has been signed with Baptist Memorial Health Care, which operates Baptist Memorial Hospital-Huntingdon, to purchase the assets of MRH including the hospital’s real property and ambulance service. Baptist intends to operate the outpatient diagnostic imaging center and sleep center located on the MRH campus. They plan to transition ambulance services to Priority Ambulance, its 911 service partner.

“We are fortunate to live in a community with numerous quality health care providers,” said MRH Chief Executive Officer Michael Morrical. “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 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, which is approximately 15 miles from MRH.

MRH leadership has been meeting throughout the day with staff and physicians to discuss transition plans with the roughly 200 employees who will be affected. Employees will be provided assistance to help them connect with other regional employers. Employees will continue to receive pay and benefits through September 29.

“It has been our privilege to care for this community and we are extremely grateful to our dedicated team of employees, nurses, physicians, volunteers and board members for their tireless service to our patients and their families,” said Morrical. “Most of all, we are grateful to our neighbors and friends for allowing us to serve as your trusted health care resource for more than 40 years.”

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, according to MRH representatives. MRH has struggled with declining patient volumes in recent years and has maintained an average daily census of just eight patients.

Current and former McKenzie Regional Hospital patients who have questions about obtaining their medical records can email MRH_MedicalRecords@QuorumHealth.com or call 615-221-3786.

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