POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Pleasant Valley Hospital (PVH) Board of Trustees has approved an operational improvement plan designed to respond to the current realities of the healthcare industry and better align hospital operations to meet the needs of the community, according to a press release from PVH on Tuesday.
“We are facing many challenges in the current healthcare environment that affect operations, including lower reimbursements and an increasing number of patients who are underinsured or uninsured,” said Dr. James Lockhart, chairman, PVH Board of Directors. “These decisions are difficult, but by addressing these challenges now, we can not only make improvements in the short-term, but also position the hospital for future growth and success.”
Discontinuing Obstetric Services
The press release continued, “After careful analysis and forecasting, PVH will discontinue obstetric services, effective Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. This difficult decision comes in response to the declining number of births at PVH while operating costs have continued to rise. With the increasing median age in Mason and surrounding counties, fewer women are of childbearing age and that trend is projected to further decrease over the coming years. In addition, PVH had to consider that over 75% of expectant mothers in Mason and surrounding areas are choosing to deliver their babies at other area hospitals.”
“We understand that obstetrics units have strong ties to communities, and we have truly appreciated the privilege to serve thousands of area families over many years,” said Jeff Noblin, FACHE, CEO of PVH. “We are collaborating with area maternity centers to transition expectant mothers. PVH’s Emergency Department physicians and staff are prepared to handle emergency deliveries, and women’s gynecologic health services will continue to be provided at the PVH Center for Women’s Health.”
Aligning Workforce to Volumes
The press release futher stated, “Our people are our most valuable asset and our foremost goal is to avoid actions that adversely impact staff as much as possible. However, we can no longer delay the realities of lower volumes and reimbursements. To align labor costs with lower volumes and reimbursements, we must reduce 53 full-time equivalents (FTEs) across the organization. The majority of positions will be achieved through not filling 25 currently vacant positions. Savings will also be accomplished through reducing part-time hours, retiring employees, and attrition. Regretfully, 25 employees will be displaced.”
“Our employees are valued members of the Pleasant Valley family, and our hearts go out to those who will be affected by this necessary reduction,” said Dr. Lockhart. “PVH leadership and human resources will do all they can to assist affected employees, including working with our healthcare partners in the area to identify employment opportunities.”
The operational improvement plan also calls for the closure of the neurology practice and several other steps designed to generate funds to build out and strengthen other services.
Realigning for the future
“We believe that by implementing this plan we will position the hospital for future success,” Noblin said. “It will enable PVH to better focus on core services and meet the growing needs of seniors. PVH will continue to invest in state-of-the-art medical imaging services, nationally-recognized orthopedic services, and world-class cancer care.
“We truly appreciate our community’s support as we move through these changes and continue providing quality healthcare to our region. We are proud to serve the people of this area for over 60 years and are committed to continuing our long-standing tradition of providing high quality, personalized care for our region.”
About Pleasant Valley Hospital
Established in 1959, Pleasant Valley Hospital is a not-for-profit healthcare system that provides community-oriented health care for Mason and Jackson counties in West Virginia and the counties of Gallia and Meigs in Ohio. The 201-bed facility includes a 101-bed acute care facility, a 100-bed nursing & rehabilitation center, three medical equipment sites and a full-range of rehabilitation services. PVH also operates 15 medical clinics. Pleasant Valley Hospital has a member agreement with Mountain Health Network, Inc. which includes Cabell Huntington Hospital, a 303-bed teaching hospital for Marshall University Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing and St. Mary’s Medical Center, a 393-bed teaching hospital which operates St. Mary’s Schools of Nursing, Respiratory Care, and Medical Imaging. www.pvalley.org