After 60 years, J. Paul Jones Hospital is Set to Close

PRESS RELEASE FROM: GEORGE ALFORD, CHAIRMAN, J. PAUL JONES HOSPITAL BOARD

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Wilcox county and the surrounding area for their long-time support of J. Paul Jones Hospital, in Camden. Our hospital has saved many lives, as well as brought many lives into this world, in this area.
Unfortunately, it is my sad duty to inform you that after sixty (60) years J. Paul Jones Hospital is closing as an acute care hospital. We have been struggling to meet financial obligations, debt service and high operating cost, due to reimbursement rates of insurance, etc.
Some people will say the hospital was managed poorly but, let me tell you, that is just not true. We have, and continue to have, a great group of employees. They have stuck with this hospital when most would have left for a more secure job, but these employees have stayed here to serve this community and I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Wilcox County has a poverty rate of approximately 40%, unemployment rate of 13.0%, the highest in Alabama, and a declining population of less than 12,000; all of which make it nearly impossible for our small rural hospital to survive as it currently operates. An example of this and the low reimbursement rates we face is, between October 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017 J. Paul Jones Hospital had $3,880,000.00 in charges through the Emergency Room alone. We were reimbursed a total of $850,000.00 or approximately 22% of the charges. Of this total, $1,300,000.00 was Medicaid charges, and of these we were reimbursed only $129,000.00, or about 10%. If you have an item for sale in a retail situation that cost you $50.00 and you are required to sell it for $5.00-$10.00, you wouldn’t be in business very long. I believe these figures speak for themselves.
Because of the above-mentioned issues, we are beginning to transition from an acute care hospital to an urgent care facility. We are also planning to continue operating the ambulance service. It is our hope that a number of current hospital employees will be employed by the new urgent care facility. We are currently working on plans to operate the urgent care facility as soon as possible, so as not to be without medical care in the county. We are attempting to provide the best and most appropriate level of healthcare as possible for the citizens of Wilcox County, with the resources available to us.
Again, thank you for your past support and I urge you to please support the new urgent care operation.

-GEORGE ALFORD

9 Comments

  1. Janice Ross on August 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I am very sorry J P J is closing,but for a long time now people have not had the confidence needed for the hospital to maintain it’s self.I do hope it can make it as a urgent care facility because Camden needs something for exstream emergencys ,and I am very sorry for those who may loose their job , but I am also very glad the ambulance service will remain. Janice Ross

  2. Janice Mcinnis on August 3, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Very sad but the hospital has served its citizens well. Many dedicated people over the years. Namely Dr. Sumpter Blackmon. He went there after he completed his residency at Mobile General Hospital. Wonderful rural health care physician. The legend of Dr. Jones will not remain unless he is memorized now. The stores I heard as a young Nurse Practitioner while serving in Wilcox county were so touching and I had the honor of knowing many of his staff over the years. All very good people.

  3. Tim Hicks on August 3, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Always received excellent care from JPJ. Sad to see it close but glad we have people working to keep some level of care in Wilcox country.

  4. Beth Jones Yoder on August 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Oh I am so sad. My daddy, John Ervin Jones worked so hard to keep this hospital open. Of course that was years ago and the entire medical situations have changed. None the less I am so sorry this is happening.

  5. Thomas Moore on August 3, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    George,
    I understand your hospital’s challenges so well. You and the hospital board members are to be commended for your efforts. I sincerely wish you the best.

  6. Rosie gordon Spencer on August 4, 2017 at 1:55 am

    I am very sadden to hear this my mother worked there for over 30 years before she retired from there.

  7. Lisa Dobson on August 4, 2017 at 6:04 am

    I am so saddened to see the doors of our hospital closed. It has served us so well for such a long time. My mother and my husband died there, and it was my plan to do that, too. I understand the financial problems and appreciate all of those who worked so hard to overcome them. Thank you, George, and all of the hospital board and staff. I feel I’ve lost a good friend!

  8. Roberta Jordan on August 4, 2017 at 11:24 am

    So sorry it has come to this, George. Y’all have worked miracles to keep it open this long. I am glad that you will keep it open as an er.

  9. Margaret Dale on August 4, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Please keep the hospital open. Can you up the taxes n get some grants

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