Government woes affect local hospitals?

Despite government funding issues, Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chewelah is not slated for closure, according to Providence Mount Carmel and Providence St. Joseph’s CEO, Bob Campbell. After an article explaining how state and federal funding affects “critical access” hospitals appeared in the Spokesman-Review last week, Campbell says he received numerous phone calls from a concerned public that Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital was going to shutter its doors. “The article didn’t say we were going to close, but some people got that impression, nonetheless,” Campbell said last week. “We’re not closing. Until these cuts are approved, if they are approved, we are weathering the storm and looking very hard at how we can continue to make these two sites (Mount Carmel and St. Joseph’s) exist and operate if cuts do come through.” Owned by Providence Health Care, which also runs Providence Holy Family Hospital and Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, the Chewelah hospital could come under review by the company if Medicare and Medicaid cuts are approved. Providence would then decide whether to reduce services, continue operating the hospital at a loss of revenue, combine with another hospital, or close. *For the complete story see the 12-28-2011 edition of the S-E.