Delaware County declares health emergency in response to Crozer Health closures

"Our most vulnerable residents are at risk," said Delaware County Councilwoman Elaine Paul Schaefer.
MEDIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Delaware County Council is declaring a health care crisis as Crozer Health is reportedly planning even more closures at its hospitals.

Crozer Health, the largest health care provider in Delaware County, has threatened to shut down ambulance services and end various mental health and substance abuse programs if it does not receive some $24 million in reimbursements within 90 days.

"Our residents are at risk right now, and not only just our residents -- our most vulnerable residents are at risk," said Delaware County Councilwoman Elaine Paul Schaefer.

It is the latest move by Prospect Medical Holdings out of Los Angeles, which bought Crozer Health in 2016. The health system owns Crozer Chester Medical Center in Chester, Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, Springfield Hospital in Springfield and Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park.

In a statement, the company says "reimbursements levels (from the county and municipalities) are insufficient," and that "the decision we've made was difficult, but necessary to ensure our health system will continue to provide care for patients we serve across Delaware County."

But Councilman Kevin Madden begs to differ. He tells Action News that Crozer has been "the recipient of millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars of support over the decades from Delaware County."

SEE ALSO: Family outraged after Delco hospice unit abruptly announces closure: 'It's just devastating'
EMBED More News Videos

"We have to find another place for her, it's just devastating," said Maureen Tribuiani after learning she would have to relocate her dying mother within a week.



The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals condemns the closure of these vital services.

Don Webb, who has been an ER nurse at Crozer for 19 years, worries about what will happen if they close the crisis center for people with mental health and/or addiction problems.

"If there's no crisis, I guess they're gonna sit in ER or they'll just take their mental health issues out on the street," said Webb.

SEE ALSO: ICU and surgical units to be shut down at Delaware County Memorial Hospital
EMBED More News Videos

A Delaware County Memorial nurse called the announcement by Crozer Health a frightening development.



On Wednesday night, Delaware County Council passed an ordinance that would require Crozer Health to give at least 180 days before it could shut down a service.

"It is giving 180 days to make sure that a plan is in place for a transition that will be beneficial to our residents who are in need," said Councilwoman Schaefer.

Back in February, the abrupt closure of a hospice unit at Taylor Hospital left a family outraged.

Maureen Tribuiani says her 87-year-old mother Mae Doherty was in her final stages of Alzheimer's. They had little time to plan after learning of the closure.

Crozer said that closure was due to declining admissions to inpatient hospice and challenges presented by the national nursing shortage.

And in March, Crozer announced that it would shut down the intensive care and surgical units at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

Prospect Medical Holdings, a private equity firm, is in negotiations to sell Crozer Health to ChristianaCare, a nonprofit entity out of Delaware.
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.