Doctors Hospital Nelsonville Will Stop Admitting Patients Next Month

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Doctors Hospital Nelsonville will officially stop admitting patients effective Oct. 15, according to OhioHealth spokesman Mark Hopkins.

The announcement does not come as a surprise, as OhioHealth had announced this summer that inpatient services would cease before the end of this year as the hospital moves toward eventual closing.

Hopkins said there has not been a patient admitted to the hospital for nearly two months.

“Before then, the census was extremely low,” Hopkins said.

Other services will continue, among them the emergency room, lab, imaging, physical therapy, physician offices and specialists who rotate into the facility, Hopkins said.

The cafeteria closed last week.

In June, OhioHealth announced that Doctors Hospital Nelsonville will be closing, but not until a new outpatient facility is opened. Low inpatient use of the hospital was cited as the primary reason for the upcoming closure. At the time, a hospital official said the average daily census — which had been on the decline for years — was about four patients.

After Oct. 15, the remaining services at the hospital are expected to continue until the new outpatient facility opens, according to Doctors Hospital Nelsonville Chief Operating Officer LaMar Wyse.

Wyse, who is also president of O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, said the choice of locations for the outpatient facility has been narrowed to three, and the preferred location will be looked at in more detail before a final decision is made. Two of the sites, including the one that is currently preferred, are within the Nelsonville city limits, according to Wyse.

He said if all goes as planned, groundbreaking will occur in mid-2015, with the new facility completed in mid to late 2016. Wyse said services to be offered at the outpatient facility are still under consideration.

When June’s announcement was made that the Nelsonville hospital would eventually close, it had 172 employees. There are currently about 120, according to Wyse, who said most of the reduction was accomplished by people retiring or moving on to other jobs. He said the number of jobs will not drop further on Oct. 15 when inpatient services stop.