CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - The Chesapeake Regional Medical Center announced that it will discontinue its geropsychiatric services due to cuts in funding.
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Wynn Dixon, president and CEO of the hospital, said in 2008, Medicare significantly reduced its reimbursement rate for patients receiving their inpatient geropsychiatric acute care services, resulting in losses the hospital could no longer sustain. The losses over the past three years totaled $1.5 million.
"While closing any service is a difficult decision, we believe our responsibility to the community is to do everything we can to remain strong and able to provide specialized services that will continue to grow in need in the next decade. Unfortunately, the current health care environment does not allow for us to continue providing as many uncompensated patient services as in the past," Dixon said.
Sara Arnold, communications specialist for the hospital, said the patients who are present in the emergency department will be stabilized and treated like all other patients. Some could remain an inpatient with increased supervision and specialized care, and for others, alternative settings will need to be chosen on a case-by-case basis.
Plans are still being finalized as to what the unit will be converted to, but it will most likely become a medical/surgical unit, Arnold said.
There are about 40 employees on the unit and almost all of them will have the opportunity to move to another unit or be trained for another position within Chesapeake Regional.
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