After hospital closes, Pennsylvania community tries to fill medical services gap

In February, Marian Community Hospital, the only hospital in Carbondale, Pa., closed its doors after 87 years.

Catholic Healthcare East, the owner of the hospital, praised the work of the sponsors, the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton, in a statement on Facebook, adding:

“Our work in Carbondale is completed. We have done what we were called to do,” the statement said. “The community has found sources of quality health care in surrounding areas; there is no longer a need for an acute care hospital in Carbondale.”

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The hospital had said in a November press release that in the past few years it had “struggled to remain viable,” and that “competitive pressures, mounting reimbursement challenges, and a declining demand for our services have resulted in major financial losses for our institution.”

According to a report in the Scranton Times Tribune, the gap in medical care left by the hospital’s departure is already being felt in the community, where various groups are working to open outpatient clinics for laboratory testing, electrocardiograms and X-ray services.

The hospital owed at least $19 million in debt when it closed, according to the Times Tribune story.

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