By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Campbell County’s hospital is facing such massive budget shortfalls that it could be facing “financial insolvency” in just a few years, its leadership announced this week.
Campbell County Health officials did not return Cowboy State Daily’s repeated requests for comment on Wednesday and Thursday.
Hospital officials announced this week that recent financial projections showed that without decisive action, the hospital could be bankrupt by 2026, leaving thousands of people without emergency health care in Campbell County.
Hospital officials said the issue of financial troubles is one many rural health care facilities are facing across the country and one that was exacerbated by the pandemic, which caused hospitals across the country to lose “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“More broadly, our community population is aging, our population is sicker, we have a higher number of people who are uninsured or underinsured, and our outdated technology has hampered our ability to quickly pivot and respond to financial losses,” hospital officials said this week.
Nineteen rural hospitals in the United States closed in 2020, and more followed in 2021, according to the University of North Carolina, which has tracked the number of rural hospitals in the nation since 2005.
The 19 closures in 2020 was the biggest loss of rural hospitals in a year since UNC began tracking those records.
Campbell County Health officials said they are addressing the situation “head-on” and are “on track to strengthen both the quality of healthcare and the financial viability of CCH for generations to come,” but did not respond to a question from Cowboy State Daily about the hospital’s strategies.
The announcement said hospital leadership and the board of trustees have been taking measures to move toward financial stability, such as affiliating with health care system UCHealth, working with a company to address billing issues, implementing a new health care software system and selecting a new CEO.