Saturday, July 27, 2013 | 1:07 AM
Hospital officials today announced that Lakeland Community Hospital in Haleyville, Alabama will discontinue surgical services, effective September 1, 2013. According to Lakeland Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cindy Nichols, collaborative referral arrangements for patients requiring surgical care are ongoing with nearby Northwest Medical Center in Winfield, Alabama and Russellville Hospital in Russellville, Alabama. This is in an effort to optimize the services available to the communities we serve. The hospital will continue to serve the community by providing Emergency Services, General Medical Inpatient Services, Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Services (Lake Point), Outpatient Diagnostics, Physical Therapy, and Endoscopy Services/Minor Procedures.
“The decision to discontinue surgical care services was a difficult but necessary one that was approached thoughtfully and with thorough consideration. In light of healthcare reform, reductions in Medicare and Medicaid hospital payments and the low volume of surgery cases at our hospital, we believe it is in the best interest of our hospital and the community for Lakeland to focus on providing other essential services, such as inpatient medical care, diagnostics, outpatient services, and emergency care,” Nichols said. "Thanks to collaborative referral arrangements with both Northwest Medical Center and Russellville Hospital, we will be able to ensure that our patients continue to have access to quality surgical care at these nearby facilities. We are announcing this decision now to allow sufficient time to ensure a smooth transition for all patients.”
Transfer agreements are also in place with other surrounding healthcare facilities. A transition plan is in place for employees of the surgery unit. They will be given the highest priority for open positions at Lakeland, Northwest and Russellville facilities.