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Three Good Shepherd Medical branches closing doors in April

From Good Shepherd Medical Health System:

(LINDEN, TX – February 24, 2014)— Good Shepherd Health System announced today that it has notified the Linden Municipal Hospital Authority of its intent to close Good Shepherd Medical Center - Linden (404 North Kaufman), effective April 30, 2014. The Good Shepherd Medical Associates Family Health Centers, formerly Glenn-Garrett Clinics, in Linden (402 North Kaufman) and Hughes Springs (201 East 2nd Street) will also close at that time.

The Good Shepherd Health System has owned and operated Good Shepherd - Linden, a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital serving a primarily rural population, since 2005. Capital investments have exceeded $6 million, and Good Shepherd has also made a significant investment in time, people and resources to maintain a much-improved hospital and emergency room over the past nine years.

Factors leading to this decision include Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement cuts to hospitals, pending loss of Critical Access Hospital status, a two-percent cut in Medicare reimbursements due to the federal sequester and low patient usage. The hospital and clinic closures will result in the loss of approximately 100 jobs.

Since the acquisition of the Linden hospital, GSHS has incurred operating losses totaling over $12 million. Average daily patient census has been less than five, and average emergency room visits have been less than one patient per hour. “Even with community support, investment in quality personnel and equipment, patient activity was not at a sustainable level. This was the basis for this decision,” said Steve Altmiller, President and CEO of Good Shepherd Health System.

Patient safety and care remain Good Shepherd’s foremost concern during this transition period, and emergency room care will continue in Linden through closure. Following closure, emergency care will be provided by Christus St. Michael Hospital - Atlanta, Good Shepherd Medical Center - Marshall and Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, along with other neighboring healthcare facilities throughout East Texas.

“This decision, while a very difficult one, is one that is occurring across the country and has been made so that Good Shepherd Health System remains a viable and financially stable healthcare organization.

Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall and Good Shepherd Medical Associates will continue to provide patient-centered, state-of-the-art healthcare throughout East Texas today and long into the future,” said Altmiller.

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