PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - We will rebound. That's Singing River Health System CEO Kevin Holland's response to the announcement that two clinics are closing in South Mississippi. Those facilities are in Gautier and D'Iberville.
"It is a tough decision having to close anything and primary care clinics are no exception to that," Holland said.
CEO Kevin Holland said it's also unfortunate that several people will lose their jobs because of the closings.
"There were about eight people employed at each clinic and about seven of those will not be able to go forward with us, and the others, we will be able to incorporate into our other clinic locations," Holland said.
Earlier this month, the health system announced it was also closing its Medworks Occupational Clinic in Pascagoula at the end of July. Holland admits the company is tightening its purse strings because of the financial problems associated with healthcare in the state.
"We are struggling with the fact that our state did not expand Medicaid, and our reimbursements are declining. We are continuing to see a rise in the uninsured, or those who have very high deductibles that their insurance doesn't kick in and they have pay a lot of pocket. So, all those factors coming together to make the environment in Healthcare very difficult right now," Holland said.
The health system is now consolidating its remaining clinics. The CEO said this change should save money and not comprise healthcare for the south Mississippians.
"We are going to operate five free standing sites moving forward in addition to the Walmart site that we have in Pascagoula Walmart."
Holland said he is optimistic the healthcare system will rebound from this tough economic time.
"By consolidating, we believe this will be a better model for us as we move forward and hopefully not hurt access. We believe this will be a better model for us as we move forward," Holland said.
The Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close officially August 29, 2014.