Colin G. McCulloch, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted Bloomberg, in “This Rural Hospital Takes in Prisoners to Keep Its Doors Open,” by Lauren Coleman-Lochner. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

A cash-strapped hospital in rural South Carolina has found an unusual way to keep its doors open —by adding a unit to treat prisoners. 

Medical University of South Carolina’s Chester Medical Center will open a 36-bed ward next month to house state inmates needing hospitalization, an arrangement that brings much-needed revenue to a facility that was struggling financially even before the pandemic. 

The agreement with the state’s corrections department underscores the pressures facing thousands of US hospitals, especially after costs soared during the pandemic. Rural hospitals in particular have limited options, and the numbers are grim. More than 600 rural hospitals — about 30% of the total — are at risk of closing in the near future, according to the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform. 

That means looking at unorthodox solutions like Chester has, said Colin McCulloch, a former hospital executive who now advises on health-care mergers at Epstein Becker Green in Washington. “That’s innovative, that’s creative and that’s preserving their mission, because there are not a lot of partnerships that a hospital can do,” McCulloch said.          

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