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Family outraged after hospice unit abruptly announces closure: ‘It’s just devastating’

By Dann Cuellar

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    RIDLEY PARK, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A family is outraged over the sudden closure of a hospice unit within a Delaware County hospital.

Maureen Tribuiani says her 87-year-old mother Mae Doherty is in her final stages of Alzheimer’s.

For the last two weeks, Doherty has been in the care of a compassionate team of nurses at Taylor Hospice inside Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park.

But she says last Friday they got word that the facility was closing and she had a week to relocate her mother.

“We’re grieving her, trying to keep her comfortable, and we’re trying to process all of this. We have to find another place for her, it’s just devastating,” said Tribuiani.

In a statement by Crozer Health — the operators of the hospital — the closure is due to declining admissions to inpatient hospice and challenges presented by the national nursing shortage.

Crozer Health system, the largest in Delaware County, not only owns Taylor but also Crozer Chester Medical Center in Chester, Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill and Springfield Hospital in Springfield.

The system just announced a shakeup with Kevin Spiegel being brought in to replace CEO Peter Adamo.

But sources at the facilities and within the industry say the system also let go over 200 key staff.

There was no comment from Crozer Health but sources say both Crozer Chester and Delaware County Memorial Hospital are in line to be sold and perhaps be shut down, or both could see services reduced.

The health system is owned by Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc out of Los Angeles, California.

“They are private equity and their interest is return on investment,” said Dr. Robert Field, professor of health management and policy at Drexel University.

He says private equity firms like Prospect have been going around the country looking to snap up a lot of marginal hospitals.

“Their mode of doing business is to squeeze out whatever they can from profits and real estate, and then to close the hospitals,” said Dr. Field.

Dr. Monica Taylor of the Delaware County Council says they are closely monitoring the situation to make sure that residents have access to hospitals and the services they provide.

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