Independent orthopedic groups, surgery centers and specialty hospitals are among the healthcare facilities that have fallen by the wayside during the pandemic as COVID-19 continues to inflict hardships on providers, both from a health and an economic standpoint.
Becker’s has reported on several hospital, physician group, ASC and clinic closures in the past two years. Here is a list of those locations and why they shut down:
1. Hospitals for Children announced in February that it plans to close an orthopedic hospital in Tampa, Fla., that shifted to outpatient-only care in 2019. Operating a clinic that offered only specialty care made it “challenging to deliver care efficiently,” a Shriners spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times.
2. Lags Medical Centers, a pain management clinic chain, closed 23 California locations in May without warning. The closures came on the same day state officials suspended Medi-Cal reimbursements to 17 of Lags Medical Center’s 28 locations, citing “potential harm to patients” and an ongoing investigation into allegations of fraud, according to the Los Angeles Times.
3. Advanced Pain Management, a Wisconsin-based chain of pain management practices and ASCs, shut down 10 locations in 2020. The company temporarily halted procedures during the pandemic and paid $1 million to settle a lawsuit related to alleged kickbacks and unnecessary lab tests. The company that provides services to APM also filed a petition for Chapter 128 receivership, a bankruptcy alternative.
4. Gilford, N.H.-based Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists temporarily closed in March 2021 when Laconia, N.H.-based Lakes Region General Hospital did not renew its service agreement after the hospital was acquired by Concord (N.H.) Hospital. However, the orthopedic group reopened three months later after joining Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H.
5. Las Cruces (N.M.) Orthopaedic Associates, a four-physician group, closed in May 2020, citing “unforeseen circumstances” tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. All four surgeons continue to provide care in the community through different medical groups and clinics.
6. Overland Park, Kan.-based Pinnacle Regional Hospital, which specialized in spinal fusion, closed in April 2020. The hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but the added financial difficulties inflicted by the pandemic forced it to close permanently.
7. Cooper County Memorial Hospital in Boonville, Mo., which also specialized in spine surgery as part of Hollywood, Fla.-based Pinnacle Healthcare System, closed in January 2020. After discussions with state regulators, it was decided that the “economic hardship of bringing the facility into compliance” with regulations was too big a task for the hospital to overcome, according to the Columbia Missourian.