Copper Basin hospital closes
After more than 60 years of providing medical care, Copper Basin Medical Center (CBMC) ceased patient operations Sunday, Oct. 1, according to a statement from Chief Executive Officer Dan Johnson.
No further hospital services, such as inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic laboratory or emergency care will be provided at CBMC. Johnson’s statement said that the patients’ accounts and medical records office will remain open to receive payments and fulfill medical record information requests.
Patients wanting their medical records can call CBMC at 423-496-5511, Monday through Thursday.
The release cited “declining patient visits, mounting debt and reimbursement reductions” as reasons for the hospital’s closure and added that “like many other rural hospitals, (CBMC) had no choice but to cease operations.”
The release further explained, “The health care industry has advanced and
changed dramatically over the past 30 years with how services are accessed and delivered.”
In a Letter to the Editor submitted to The News Observer, CBMC District Board member Will Bishop expressed his sadness for the closing but also added that “this did not have to happen.”
“Instead of setting aside our differences and coming together for the common good of the facility, staff and patients, all I saw was petty arguments, backroom deals, illegal votes, lies on top of perjury and finally the destruction of a hospital that had been for years a beacon of hope in a dark place,” Bishop said, addressing his fellow district board members.
From CBMC, the closest hospital and emergency care facility is Fannin Regional Hospital, 10 miles and approximately 16 minutes away. Other nearby hospitals include Murphy Medical Center in Peachtree, NC, Union General Hospital in Blairsville and Tennova Healthcare in Cleveland, Tenn.
Piedmont Mountainside in Ellijay also provides an emergency care facility.