West Memphis hospital faces $30 million debt

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) — A hospital in West Memphis facing $30 million in debt is asking voters to approve a 1 percent sales tax to prevent the facility from closing.

According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (http://bit.ly/1jNqJG0 ), an increase in uninsured patients, cutbacks in federal programs such as Medicaid and doctors relocating or retiring have left Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis facing $30 million in debt.

Hospital administrators are asking for help in the form of a sales tax. Crittenden County voters will cast ballots on a 1 percent sales tax on June 24 that, if approved, would be collected for five years and generate about $30 million before ending in 2019.

Crittenden Regional Hospital Chief Executive Officer Gene Cashman says the medical facility would likely close if the measure fails.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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