Public Service Announcement! Northwest Mississippi Medical Center isn’t closing! Our local hospital remains open and ready to serve you, thanks to the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors.
Clarksdale’s hospital has changed hands several times in the last few years. In 2017, CHS (Community Health Services) sold the Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center to the nonprofit Curae Health (Knoxville, Tennessee) to lessen its debt in order to keep the hospital open. But in August of 2018, Curae Health filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, stating $96 million in liabilities, according to Health Leaders Media.
As of May 31, Curae is out of bankruptcy and CHS is back in charge. CHS is currently managing the lease with intentions to find a buyer for the lease. The County is working with Trilogy Healthcare Consultants to make improvements to the hospital’s structure and better its appeal to make it attractive to potential buyers.
The hospital was built back in 1952 when our county’s population was about 49,000 people. Our population is now about 23,000, so continuing to maintain the large facility with fewer customers is a challenge.
The County and the taxpayers of Coahoma County own the hospital, its buildings and the parking lot, which gives us the ability to make a change. The hospital will not close, but it takes a lot of money to run on a monthly basis.
Northwest isn’t the only hospital suffering from money troubles. US News explains that other rural hospitals face the same stresses of declining reimbursements and rising costs for electronic health records and equipment.
According to WREG in an April 22 article, “Half of the state’s rural hospitals were deemed at financial risk in a 2019 report. Others have shut down crucial services, such as closing an emergency room. Five rural hospitals have closed in Mississippi since 2013.”
Though we as people of Coahoma County can’t do much in this process besides letting the County Supervisors do their job, we can help by remaining healthy ourselves and utilizing our local hospital when necessary. Meanwhile, the supervisors are working hard to make our hospital more profitable so it will continue to serve the citizens of Coahoma County.