— Hartselle Medical Center will close its doors Jan. 31, according to a statement from its parent company, Franklin, Tenn.-based Capella Healthcare. Capella cited a number of problems that have plagued the struggling 76-bed hospital, including location in an over-bedded county, poor reimbursement and patients who increasingly choose to seek care in neighboring communities. Hartselle Medical Center treats fewer than eight medical-surgical patients on average each day, according to the announcement. “This was an extremely tough decision that came after exploring a number of options for the future of the hospital,” Mark Medley, president of the hospital division of Capella Healthcare, said in the statement. “But the extreme challenges of healthcare reform, a weak economy and the toughest reimbursement climate in the nation here in Alabama have become insurmountable dynamics.” The move comes less than two weeks after Capella finalized the sale of 120-bed Parkway Medical Center, Decatur, Ala., to 820-bed Hunstville (Ala.) Hospital for $17.5 million. The investor-owned company said it also tried unsuccessfully to find a buyer for Hartselle Medical Center. “Despite our best efforts, we’ve not been able to identify a partner willing to buy and continue to operate the hospital,” Medley said in the release. “We continue to be hopeful that a new owner might come forth and would be very open to talking with anyone who is interested.” Capella says it plans to hold job fairs for Hartselle Medical Center’s 136 employees.
Poor reimbursement and other problems have plagued Hartselle Medical Center.