Health Care

More than 100 to lose jobs as hospital group pulls out of Research Medical Center

A Pennsylvania company has announced plans to close its acute care unit on one floor of Research Medical Center and lay off 105 workers.
A Pennsylvania company has announced plans to close its acute care unit on one floor of Research Medical Center and lay off 105 workers. File photo

A Pennsylvania company plans to close the acute care unit it runs at Research Medical Center and lay off 105 workers.

Select Medical Corporation notified the Missouri Department of Economic Development about the layoffs last week, saying it plans to close its operations at 2316 East Meyer Blvd. on or about May 18.

Select Medical spokeswoman Melissa Fox said it was a business decision.

"Providing high-quality care to the remaining small group of patients still with us at this location remains our top priority," Fox said via email. "In the coming days, we will be working with our dedicated staff on transition plans, including potential positions available at other hospitals in our network."

Fox added that new patients will be accepted at the Kansas City, Kan., location next to Providence Medical Center.

Select Medical specializes in treating medically complex patients who are out of intensive care, but not yet ready to rehab and leave the hospital.

Fox said the company currently leases one floor of Research Medical Center, a 590-bed facility with a history that dates back to 1886.

The company calls the floor Select Specialty Hospital — Western Missouri. It has 34 beds, and it discharged 273 patients and pulled in about $49 million in revenue last year, according to the American Hospital Directory.

Research Medical Center is one of eight hospitals in the Kansas City area owned by HCA Midwest Health, a division of Hospital Corporation of America, which is one of the largest for-profit hospital chains in the country.

Research Medical Center was the least profitable hospital within HCA Midwest in 2016, losing about $5.7 million, according to data collected by the Missouri Hospital Association. The most profitable was Overland Park Regional Medical Center, which cleared $63 million in profit that year.

Research Medical Center CEO Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum said Select Medical's departure will offer a chance for HCA Midwest to upgrade the floor it's vacating.

"We look forward to the opportunity to convert and modernize this space to meet the growing patient demand we have experienced, better meeting the community's needs," DeSouza-Van Blaricum said in an emailed statement.

"Research Medical Center has recently opened a new Stroke Rehabilitation Unit and remodeled the Brookside Emergency Room, and feel grateful that our community continues to trust us for life-saving care."