UPDATE (2/19/20 3:16 p.m.):
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – In response to the announcement of Fairmont Regional Medical Center’s closing, MVA Health Centers has issued a statement.
“It saddens the administration, providers and staff of MVA Health Centers to learn of the closing of our neighbor, Fairmont Regional Medical Center. Their service to the community has been appreciated and will be missed,” stated MVA President Nancy Vandergrift.
Vandergrift continued, “MVA Health Centers, more commonly known as The Fairmont Clinic, has been here to serve primary healthcare needs of this community for more than 60 years. During today’s tumultuous times in the healthcare industry, we want to assure the citizens of Marion County of our organization’s financial stability and of our track record in providing quality patient outcomes for our patients. As an organization, we continue to be devoted to ensuring that the healthcare needs of the community are met.”
“For patients with emergent health needs, MVA – Fairmont Clinic, located just across the street from Fairmont Regional Medical Center, will be a continued source for Express Care. Adult patients can walk into our Express Care clinic to receive treatment for minor illnesses and injuries Monday through Friday with direct access to in-house x-ray, lab and pharmacy services. Our adjacent pediatrics center also provides same-day appointments for sick children with access to those same ancillary services. For those outside of Fairmont, our Mannington and Shinnston health centers provide walk-in care as well.”
“We also want to confirm the ongoing availability of affordable care through all our clinics. Beyond accepting nearly all insurances, MVA offers access to a Sliding Fee Program that makes discounts available to qualifying uninsured and under-insured patients for medical visits, x-ray services, diabetic education, basic optical services, pharmacy services and acute surgical procedures.”MVA Health Centers
UPDATE (2/19/20 1:53 p.m.):
The City of Fairmont has released a statement about Fairmont Regional Medical Center’s announced closure.
The City of Fairmont is saddened to hear the news today about the pending closure of Fairmont Regional Medical Center. Our thoughts are with the community as we face the closure and the effects it will have on our residents as well as the FRMC employees that have been given such devastating news. Having a hospital in Fairmont and Marion County is vital to the health and wellbeing of our community. Our staff is available to be part of the conversation to keep the hospital in our community.City of Fairmont statement
UPDATE (2/18/20 8:23 p.m.):
Several lawmakers with ties to Marion County have issued statements in the wake of the closure announcement.
W.Va. Governor (R) – Jim Justice:
“Today, I called Marion County Senator Roman Prezioso and asked him to meet me at the mansion this evening to discuss this planned closure. Senator Prezioso and I will be meeting with hospital leadership in Fairmont on Thursday to evaluate our options and determine the best way forward. Fairmont Regional Medical Center is a vital lifeline to our people in the Fairmont community and those across Marion County. My administration has been studying various options over the past several months and meeting with delegates, senators, and other community leaders to try to find a workable solution.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) – West Virginia:
“Marion County and Fairmont are my home area. This is where I grew up. And we know that the 11th largest county and the 7th largest city in West Virginia can’t survive without a quality hospital. This is an unfortunate and painful trend across rural America. The closing of rural hospitals and clinics continues to make access to quality care harder and forces people to travel unreasonably far distances to receive the care they need. I am reaching out to every person and party involved to save the Fairmont Regional Medical Center and look forward to working with all parties to make sure that Fairmont has a hospital for the health and wellbeing of every citizen and for the economic wellbeing of the county,”
WV Delegate Mike Caputo (D-Marion):
“It’s outrageous. The employees were sent a letter that said to expect another letter with more information and an FAQ sheet that said they were not being fired today, but that their position is not guaranteed through the date of closure. The Fairmont Regional Medical Center is a major employer in Marion County and the people who have worked there for 40+ years deserve better than an unexpected notice and 60 days to prepare.”
WV Delegate Linda Longstreth (D-Marion):
“We understand that there were financial difficulties. We were told they were looking into reorganization, working with WVU, and finding additional sources of revenue. We just now heard that it’s gotten to this point and we’re devastated for the citizens of Marion County who make their living by working at the Fairmont Regional Medical Center.”
WV Delegate Michael Angelucci (D-Marion):
“We’ve been meeting with the Governor, folks at Mon Health, and WVU Medicine to ensure continued health care coverage for Marion County residents. As administrator of Marion County’s EMS agency, I know that every minute counts in times of emergencies and I am extremely angry that a solution wasn’t found in time to ensure we kept the doors open on this Medical Center that is vital to the lives in our county.”
UPDATE (2/18/20 2:40 p.m.):
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont Regional Medical Center, and its parent Alecto, have released a statement on the decision to close the hospital.
According to the statement, after a thorough evaluation of all available options, losses of more than $19 Million over the past 3 years, and an exhaustive, but unsuccessful, search for a strategic partner or buyer, FRMC has begun the process of winding down its operations.
In the release, the hospital commended Governor Justice’s formation of the Rural Medicine Task Force and said it is hopeful that a long-term solution for hospital care in Fairmont will be announced soon.
“Like other hospitals in West Virginia and across the country that are closing, planning to close, or filing for bankruptcy protection, FRMC has faced a number of challenges including difficulties recruiting physicians, vigorous competition from larger health systems for patients and physicians, declining patient volumes, the inability to qualify as a critical access hospital or sole community hospital (and the increased reimbursement from Medicare that comes along with such designations) due to its geographic location and the geographic location of other hospitals, decreasing reimbursement from all payors, increasing operating costs, and a physical plant that has required improvements as it has aged. While FRMC has worked tirelessly to address these challenges, it has not been able to survive the combined impact of the challenges.”Statement from FRMC and Alecto
FRMC will begin sending notices to its employees, as well as holding informational meetings this week to answer questions, according to the release. The timing of the closure of specific medical services will be contingent upon maintaining adequate staffing, physician coverage, and/or patient volumes.
The statement adds that this plan is not the hospital’s preferred course of action, but “[t]he unfortunate reality is that this is happening everywhere and community-based hospitals like FRMC are being hit the hardest. The Marion County community has always been supportive of the hospital and it has been appreciated.”
In the release, FRMC thanked the efforts of elected officials in helping the hospital look for solutions.
Fairmont Regional Medical Center will permanently close, according to an internal communication from CEO Robert Adcock that is being shared on Facebook.
According to the letter, the hospital will be sending out letters in the coming days to state and federal agencies and all FRMC employees to provide notice that the hospital will permanently close.
Adcock cited financial difficulties at the hospital and stated that plans to reorganize certain administrative functions and develop other revenue sources were not sufficient to stop financial losses at the hospital. Further, efforts to find a buyer or a new source of financing were unsuccessful, according to the letter.
The decision to close the hospital was made after all other reasonable options were considered, according to Adcock. The hospital is hosting employee forums on Tuesday, and as needed, to answer questions related to the announcement, the letter states.
12 News has reached out to Fairmont Regional Medical Center for comment on the situation.
A West Virginia University Health System spokesperson released a statement related to speculation that WVU Health System may have an interest in taking over FRMC.
“We’re aware of the situation and are monitoring it very closely. We’re certainly concerned about the implications this could have for the residents of Marion County, as well as the hospital’s employees. Our commitment is always to ensure West Virginians have access to critical healthcare services, and as a reminder, Marion County residents have quick access to many of our services at our Fairmont Gateway Clinic and Whitehall Medical including Urgent Care.”West Virginia University Health System Spokesperson
Mon Health System President and CEO David Goldberg has also released a statement on FRMC.
“We’re saddened to hear about the probable closure of Fairmont Regional Medical Center. We have a long history of collaboration with the hospital, clinicians, and citizens of Marion County. Mon Health System will continue to provide care, treatment, and programs to residents through our already established services. We’ve recently announced expansion of Mon Health services as part of our ongoing commitment to the community, adding to our cardiology, primary care, and soon-to-be women’s health services. We will continue to monitor the community needs and meet those needs through Mon Health and other collaborations. The most important part of any solution is to ensure that citizens [of] Greater Fairmont and its surrounding communities continue to have real choice in where they get their healthcare.”Mon Health System President and CEO David Goldberg
FRMC is owned by Alecto Healthcare, which closed down Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling in September 2019. As recently as August 2019, after the original announcement that OVMC would close, FRMC released a statement that it would not be closing.