Mesa hospital to shut doors by May 8 - East Valley Tribune: Health

Mesa hospital to shut doors by May 8

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Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 7:22 pm | Updated: 7:37 pm, Wed Apr 17, 2013.

Arizona Regional Medical Center announced Thursday in a news release that it will close its Mesa location in May.

“It’s a very unfortunate situation; the community will be without having a local hospital,” hospital spokesman Ken Eckhauser told the Tribune.

The hospital, located at 515 N. Mesa Drive, will immediately begin closing operations and shut its doors by May 8. ARMC will continue to operate its Apache Junction facility.

Eckhauser said the elimination of Medicaid coverage by the state for most adults without dependents was the final blow to the facility.

“What has hindered us is the significant reduction in Medicare reimbursements, but also primarily … the removal everybody without dependents from AHCCCS,” Eckhauser said of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. “Unlike other businesses we don’t turn anyone away if someone needs help, whether they are able to pay or not able to pay.”

Mesa District 1 Councilman Dave Richins, whose district’s southern border is near the hospital, estimated the hospital provides about 400 jobs.

“It’s very sad,” he said.

Eckhauser also said it’s also unfortunate that people in the community will have to travel further now for care.

On top of the hospital’s financial woes, the facility was also set back by the death last year of its founder, Dr. Robert Siegel, in a plane crash.

“It’s taken a tremendous toll on the hospital and his own family,” Eckhauser said.

Siegel’s wife, Dr. Barbara Barker, had stepped into his role after the tragedy.

ARMC took over Mesa General Hospital in 2008 when that hospital was faced with severe financial challenges, according to the news release.

ARMC-Mesa also faced insurance and other issues, Richins said.

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