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Maxis Health System to Close Marian Community Hospital -- Options for Continuing Outpatient Services Under Consideration

November 28, 2011

Carbondale, Pa., November 28, 2011 — Maxis Health System, the parent company of Marian Community Hospital, announced today its plans to close Marian Community Hospital by Feb.28, 2012.

“Over the last few years, Marian Community Hospital has struggled to remain viable. Increased competitive pressures, mounting reimbursement challenges, and a declining demand for our services have resulted in major financial losses for our institution. Following a complete operational and financial review, we made the difficult decision that our multi-million dollar annual losses could no longer be sustained,” said Mary Theresa Vautrinot, president and chief executive officer of Maxis Health System.

Maxis today provided the required 90-day notice of its decision to the Commonwealth’s Department of Health. The average daily census of 20 inpatients at Marian Community Hospital for the past six months is not sufficient to sustain fully staffed operations for the long term, said Maxis officials. The hospital, which is licensed for 70 beds, had reduced its staffed beds to 35 in January 2010 based on the steady decline in demand for inpatient care.

“Within the last five years, we have invested $3.6 million in equipment, in technology, and in new and enhanced services, but we were not able to attract the critical mass of patients needed to sustain an inpatient acute care facility. We made concerted efforts to find an alternative, other than closing the hospital, which would be feasible both medically and financially; but our efforts were ultimately not successful,” said Vautrinot.

Maxis Health System currently has 233 full- and part-time employees. Members of the hospital’s human resources team will be meeting with colleagues individually to review severance benefits, and help guide them through this difficult period. Those who qualify will receive continuation of pay for a period of time, during which health care coverage under the hospital plan will continue, and will receive reimbursement for earned but unused paid time off. The Marian Community Hospital pension plan is managed as part of the Catholic Health East (CHE) pension plan; CHE will continue managing and funding the benefits of the pension plan going forward. Colleagues will also receive career transition support. This will include resume preparation, advice in job search techniques, and counseling; a job fair will be planned in coordination with the region’s health care providers, and counseling services.

In consultation with the Department of Health, the hospital is developing a timeline to discontinue specific services at specific dates during the next three months to allow for a safe and orderly closure process. A more detailed timeline will be forthcoming shortly. Patients who may have questions about scheduled procedures, or who rely on Marian Community Hospital for a continuing course of treatment should contact their physicians. Maxis officials advise that they will work with patients and their physicians to ensure a smooth transition and continued access to a source of care that can meet their needs.

Marian Community Hospital was created in 1992 through the joining of Carbondale General Hospital, founded in 1893, and St. Joseph's Hospital, founded by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1925. Then, it had become apparent the community could no longer support two hospitals, so they merged.

“With four full service, acute care hospitals within 20 miles of Marian Community Hospital, and with a constantly decreasing number of people who rely on Marian for their inpatient health care needs, it is time to accept the reality that the market no longer requires the inpatient services that our hospital provides,” said Vautrinot.

Maxis is currently evaluating the possibility of providing some key outpatient services on its current campus, such as urgent care, imaging and a laboratory services center. A decision regarding the provision of these services will be announced shortly.

“For more than 85 years, our congregation has had the privilege of sponsoring a health care ministry in Carbondale,” said Sr. Therese O’Rourke, president of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the hospital’s sponsoring congregation. “Throughout our history, as times and needs have changed, we have evolved to best meet the needs of our community. We are poised to help support a continued outpatient Catholic health care presence should this need be identified.”

Marian Community Hospital, Carbondale, Pa., is a component of Maxis Health System which is a member of Catholic Health East, a multi-institutional Catholic health system based in Newtown Square, Pa. with facilities located across 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida. Maxis Health System is sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, Pa.