Pascagoula health clinic being closed

The Associated PressJuly 18, 2014 

— The Singing River Health System's clinic in East Pascagoula is closing permanently on July 31.

The MedWorks clinic opened in 2009. It provides basic X-rays, breath alcohol tests, drug testing, hearing tests and more.

Singing River spokesman Richard Lucas told The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1jWZlNj ) more information will be released Friday.

The closure comes on the heels of cost-cutting measures in May that included elimination of two administrative positions — chief operating officer of programs and head of information technology position.

At that time, Lucas called it a "regular restructuring," not a response to news earlier this year of shortfalls in revenue.

In March, health system officials reported that the Jackson County hospital system has $88 million in projected revenue it would not be able to collect.

A new audit firm with for the hospital system turned up the shortfall — $27 million from last year and $61 million from the previous five years.

Kevin Holland, new CEO for the county hospital system, said the money is an accumulation of unpaid patient bills that the hospital system had believed it could collect and now does not.

The hospital system is county-owned and the taxpayers of Jackson County co-sign the hospital's debt, but it is self-supporting and does not use tax dollars to operate.

The hospital system includes Pascagoula's Singing River Hospital, the Ocean Springs Hospital and various clinics in Jackson and George counties.

Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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