‘It’s awful’: Tonopah’s only hospital closes

Published Friday, Aug. 21, 2015|2:33 p.m.

Updated Friday, Aug. 21, 2015|5 p.m.

. The Nye Regional Medical Center, the only healthcare facility in a 100-mile radius, closed at noon today, leaving rural residents worried about how they will get care.

Based in Tonopah, a mining town midway in between Las Vegas and Reno, the 10-bed hospital offered emergency situation and inpatient care as well as laboratory, radiology, breathing and outpatient services.

Wayne Allen, CEO of the Nye Regional Medical Center, provided a letter Wednesday revealing the closure of the medical facility, blaming extended monetary struggles. An outpatient center will close at 5 p.m. Sept. 4, he stated.

Emergency medical responses, such as ambulances, are not impacted.

“The health center operations can not be sustained any longer with expenditures higher than revenues,” Allen wrote in the letter. “In an effort to save the hospital, we have attempted to arrange partnerships/affiliations with other health care organizations. These efforts have actually been unsuccessful due to our little size and remote place. We run out choices, time and financing.”

Nye County Emergency situation Supervisor Vance Payne released a memo this afternoon specificing treatments to alleviate some of the effect of the hospital closure. The county’s Workplace of Emergency situation Management has actually exercised transport contracts with provider in surrounding counties and states to accommodate day-to-day requirements, he said.

Life Guard Air Ambulance services has generated another aircraft, doubling its air ambulance capability for the location, Payne stated. In addition, Nye County has reached agreements with 2 California counties– Inyo and Nevada– to fulfill ambulances midway to cut patient-transport times and is negotiating with Humboldt General Medical facility for another mutual aid ambulance crew.

“Our No. 1 priority is to ensure the long-term safety to the residents of this neighborhood,” he composed. “To support this effort, we have actually implemented the most efficient and reliable strategy to reach that objective.”

Unlike in metropolitan areas, where numerous private-practice doctors serve the population, citizens in Tonopah– with a population simply shy of 2,500 homeowners in 2010– depend on the medical center for their healthcare, said Joan Hall, CEO of Nevada Rural Medical facility Partners, an alliance of small hospitals serving 346,500 citizens in the state.

There are no standalone centers or paramedics in the town, but Tonopah does have a volunteer emergency situation medical services group, Hall stated. The closest medical facilities to Tonopah are in Hawthorne (103 miles northwest) and Bishop, Calif. (116 miles west). Tonopah is 211 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

“It’s awful,” Hall stated. “Nationally, we’re seeing increasingly more rural healthcare facilities close.”

Fifty-three rural medical facilities across the United States have actually closed because 2010, eliminating emergency and primary care for citizens, she said.

Prime Care Nevada Inc., the father and mother business of Nye Regional Medical Center, filed for bankruptcy in 2013, the Pahrump Valley Times reported. Numerous months later on, in Might 2014, a federal bankruptcy judge eliminated Dr. Vincent Scoccia from his function as the hospital’s CEO after Nye County implicated him of mismanagement and paying his own interests.

Tonopah homeowners have actually know the hospital’s monetary struggles– and efforts to conquer them– for several years, but Hall suspects most didn’t stress over an imminent closure. “It’s always a struggle,” she stated. “Occasionally you get so utilized to struggling, you don’t think there is any inescapable coming.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *