McNairy Regional Hospital is closing its doors May 18, 2016

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SELMER, Tenn. – McNairy Regional Hospital is closing its doors.

Hospital officials informed employees Friday morning the hospital and its affiliated clinics would end all services on May 18 due to major repairs and declines in patient use.

“As we considered these significant repairs, we also looked at how community use of the hospital has changed in recent years,” said Pamela Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of the hospital. “Our quality of care and patient satisfaction have been strong, but far fewer patients are using services here, whether inpatient, outpatient or ER.”

The hospital announced 129 employees will be affected by the closure.

Recently, plumbing and facility experts examined the plumbing systems after a recent breach. It was determined workers would have to dig through the hospital’s floors to replace sewer pipes which have deteriorated under the building. Repairs would require closing the hospital for six or more months.

“With the extensive repairs needed, disruption to operations and small number of patients using services, McNairy Regional Hospital is not sustainable,” added Roberts.

Patient use has steadily declined since 2010. The number of patients admitted has dropped from just over 1,700 since 2010 to approximately 550 last year. The drop means the hospital was averaging less than two patients a day.

Emergency Room visits have also been fewer. The ER averaged 24 a day over the past few months.

Last year, many patients required specialized treatment so they were stabilized, then transferred to a larger acute care hospital in Jackson, Tenn., according to a hospital statement. The majority of other patients’ needs could be addressed in an urgent care or physician’s office.

Cuts in federal reimbursement for services as part of the Affordable Care Act have also taken a toll.

EMS services will continue after the hospital and clinics close. The EMS team will adjust its processes in response to this transition. Three hospitals operate within 30 miles of Selmer and three more within 40 miles. Tennova Healthcare–Regional Jackson is already caring for patients who require more advanced clinical services and clinics in Jackson and Lexington have capacity to support the medical needs of patients from Selmer.

“The history of service and care at McNairy Regional is the result of the nurses, physicians and other caregivers at the hospital who have been dedicated to their patients,” said Roberts. “We appreciate their professionalism as we work through these changes and thank them for all they have done.”

McNairy Regional, which opened in 1962, was known as McNairy County Hospital for many years and was owned by the county.

The McNairy County Commission sold the facility in 1998 to Methodist Healthcare.

The then 86-bed hospital was at the center of a regional war for the health care market between Methodist and West Tennessee Healthcare which owned Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

Tennova Healthcare in Eastern Tennessee added McNairy Regional to its organization in September of 2015. McNairy Regional was already under Tennova’s Franklin, Tenn. based parent company, Community Health Systems.

Read more: Daily Corinthian – Tennova McNairy Regional Hospital will cease operations