Delaware County Council leaders said they are in daily contact with Crozer Health to reach a resolution for the community and for the company, as frontline workers plan to hold multiple picket lines.
Two weeks ago, the county passed an emergency ordinance as members described the situation as a ‘crisis’ following a series of various health care system services being cut, reduced or closed. The order requires 180 days’ notice for any decision to close most or all of a hospital, or “significant impact units” like emergency departments, ambulance services, work units and childbirth or behavioral health services. Additionally, hospitals and long-term care facilities that intend to be sold or transfer ownership interests must provide 45 days notice of such an event.
“We are in an emergency response situation. The steady reduction in services and programs over the past several months from the largest hospital system in the county has left our community with a vacuum of resources,” said Delaware County Board Chairwoman Dr. Monica Taylor. “This order gives our county and our county stakeholders time to prepare and find alternatives for vital services such as maternal care, drug and alcohol services, and advanced survivorship coverage for , hopefully avoid any gaps in services.”
That’s when nurses, paramedics and other healthcare professionals at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Delaware County Memorial Hospital prepare to picket outside hospitals the next two Wednesdays due to the severe cutbacks and closures of Crozer Health.
“When you eliminate essential medical services, you’re not eliminating the patients who seek them, you’re simply forcing those patients to seek care elsewhere, overwhelming a system that’s already struggling and putting the people of Delaware County at risk.” , said Crozer-Chester Medical Center. nurse Peggy Malone, RN, president of the Crozer-Chester Nurses Association, said.
His counterpart at Delaware County Memorial Hospital expressed similar sentiments.
“Our community needs EMS,” said Angela Neopolitano, DCMH emergency department nurse, RN, president of the Delaware County Nurses Association. “We need psychiatric and rehabilitation services. We need community hospitals. The greed of the owners of Prospect threatens the health, safety and well-being of people in our community, and we will not tolerate it.
A statement released Friday by Delaware County noted that county officials remain actively engaged in maintaining medical services for county residents, including working with state and federal lawmakers to identify funding opportunities.
He also noted that the county’s Department of Social Services is working with new providers to offer mental and behavioral health services and drug and alcohol treatment to residents and to expand services with existing providers so that there is no interruption of service.
“Even with the passing of the ordinance, the county remains open to a mutually acceptable resolution of its issues with Crozer Health,” the statement said.
After the board passed the ordinance, Crozer gave notice that he intended to dramatically reduce drug addiction and mental health treatment in Delaware County.
Effective June 10, an outpatient addiction clinic at Delaware County Memorial Hospital would close. A day later, the “First Steps” Addiction and Acute Addiction Hospital Unit at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland would previously close, although services there were suspended in January.
On June 19, the crisis center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center would close, along with all mental health and addictions services at the community hospital, including school services, admission, assessment and referral. , case management and psychiatric rehabilitation.
The system was already targeting Delaware County Memorial Hospital to close its intensive care unit and surgery unit by May 31. It had closed the hospital’s inpatient obstetrics unit in January. That same month, emergency, pathology, laboratory and medical imaging services at Springfield Hospital were suspended and the inpatient palliative care unit at Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park was closed. .
In February, Crozer Health announced that the nonprofit organization ChristianaCare Health System had signed a letter of intent to acquire the hospitals, outpatient centers, physician offices and ancillary outpatient services of the Crozer Health System. The sale should be completed by the end of the year.
The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office said it wanted to make sure the impending sale met all legal tests.
“Our office is reviewing the proposed sale to ensure that the sale does not violate or breach any laws we administer,” read a statement released by that office. “Generally, we have less control over how a for-profit entity chooses to run its business. This is a situation where there is a letter of intent and the potential buyer does their due diligence to come to a final binding purchase agreement. The closings are known to the potential buyer and it is up to him to determine how to account for these actions in the final purchase price. “