Less than a year after calling Monarch Women’s Health a model for the state, Decatur Morgan Hospital is closing the facility.
The hospital also is shuttering Parkway Women’s Care, Decatur Morgan Hospital President Dean Griffin said in a written statement Tuesday.
The six physicians at the facilities will lose their jobs June 1, and the hospital hopes to find jobs for the other 22 employees “somewhere in the Huntsville Hospital system,” marketing director Leigh Hayes said.
“We’re optimistic that between the clinic, openings at Decatur General and Huntsville system that all the employees will find work,” she said.
The six obstetricians will either have to open a private practice or join an existing practice, Hayes said.
The Decatur Daily tried to contact the doctors at their offices, but none were available for comment.
Huntsville purchased Parkway from investor-owned Capella Healthcare of Tennessee for $17.5 million on Jan. 1, 2012, and Decatur General started a 40-year lease with Huntsville on Sept. 1.
Griffin said Drs. Mark T. Purvis, Charles L. McCain and David L. Spangler of OB-GYN Associates will resume delivering babies at Decatur General.
A little more than four years ago, Purvis, McCain and Spangler were among seven obstetricians — during a one-year period — to cut ties with Decatur General.
OB-GYN Associates, which is about a block from Decatur General, will operate a community prenatal clinic in the Monarch facility that will be staffed with nurse practitioners, Griffin said.
Hayes said the doctors will pay no rent but will be responsible for staffing.
This clinic will provide care for the “uninsured and under-insured population,” Griffin said. “Upon thorough review, we believe this will be the best obstetrical model for the community.”
Hayes said the move will mean an “overall savings” for the hospital, but she wasn’t sure if Monarch or Women’s Care were losing money.
“We’re moving to the more traditional model,” she said.
After doctors with OB-GYN Associates cut ties with the hospital on Oct. 6, 2008, Decatur General and Parkway opened a joint prenatal clinic on Somerville Road across from Decatur General’s admission office.
They shared the expenses for running the clinic and treated patients regardless of whether they had insurance.
The clinic was a temporary fix while Griffin recruited doctors for Monarch. After failing behind in 2009, Decatur General reclaimed its title as the leading hospital for births in Morgan County.
In January, Decatur Morgan Hospital’s Parkway campus moved labor and delivery services to Decatur General.
Hayes said the hospital will continue to deliver babies, but physicians who are not on the hospital payroll will provide the service.
Deangelo McDaniel can be reached at 256-340-2469 or email@example.com.
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