Budget woes forcing Cleveland hospital to cut staff, surgeries

Cleveland Regional Hospital is shedding staff and canceling surgery as it continues to face financial struggles
February 19, 2014 4:26:54 PM PST
Changes are coming to another community in the form of health care. Cleveland Regional Hospital is shedding staff and canceling surgery as it continues to face financial struggles.

The state says the hospital has given notice that it has shut down some of its services, but the emergency room is still open, at least for now.

Patients who had scheduled surgeries at Cleveland Regional Medical Center have been told to find another hospital.

"It was devastating. We were planning on this, it's something very important," said Allen Camp, whose wife's surgery was abruptly canceled Tuesday. "What we got was they're closing down and you better get your records."

When he came for those records on Wednesday, he said what he heard was upsetting.

"They were saying, 'I got laid off today, did you get laid off today?'" Camp said.

Employees tell us 70 people have either walked out, or been laid off. The hospital was purchased last summer by RKM Management. Spring Doctor Ravi Moparty and two relatives are RKM's listed partners. The hospital was reportedly losing millions when they bought it, and has an unpaid tax bill of $268,000.

Patients and their families are worried about the future.

"I'm not the only person in the world to have a broken ankle, so I think it's important for them to be here," patient Roger Cangemi said.

"When you're needing medical help, you really don't need to be drive 30 miles out of your way," Cangemi's son, John Cangemi, said.

"We do need this hospital. I actually a year ago, in July, experienced anaphylactic shock. I couldn't have made it anywhere else," former patient Judy Reed said.

The CEO said the hospital does not have enough privately insured or self-pay patients, and that the limited compensation from Medicare and Medicaid is simply not enough.

The City of Cleveland plans to sue the hospital on Friday for $154,590.89 in unpaid city taxes.

The Cleveland City administrator said the city met with hospital leaders on Wednesday and the hospital asked for assistance. He couldn't comment further at the moment.

We worked on this story with our Houston Community Newspaper partners. You can read more in the Cleveland Advocate.

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