Hutcheson patients scrambling for medical care after clinics abr - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hutcheson patients scrambling for medical care after clinics abruptly close

Posted: Updated:
CHICKAMAUGA, GA (WRCB) -

Hutcheson Medical Center is closing three of its clinics, forcing workers from their positions and patients scrambling to find medical care.

On Monday, the hospital announced it shut down the ICU, Chickamauga Family Practice and Battlefield Lung Specialists in an effort to cut costs so the hospital can return to profitability.
 
Channel 3 spoke with several patients who say they were left in the dark without notice, and are now frantically searching for a new doctor.

READ MORE | Employees let go from Hutcheson want answers

"I've been with these guys like four or five years, and not the courtesy of a phone call, a letter, nothing," said one patient, who wished to remain anonymous.

She showed up to Hutcheson's Chickamauga Family Practice on Tuesday to find a sign on the front door that read, in part, "Effective immediately. Suspending services until further notice."

It's a worry for those needing prescription refills.

READ MORE | Hutcheson closes 3 clinics to "bring back profitability"

"I'm on medication that's gonna run out," she said.

The practice's administrative office opened on Tuesday so patients could sign release forms for their medical records. They also received referrals to other doctors.

"It's just inconvenient for senior citizens to have to be run around like that," said 74-year-old James Minghini.

Minghini and his wife, who is currently bed-ridden after knee replacement surgery, depend on several medications.

"She can't ride. She can't go in there and sit down. Can't be examined. Not now, she can't. So if she runs out of medicine, I don't know what we're gonna do," said Minghini.

"What are we supposed to do?" asked another patient, who was looking for answers at the clinic on Tuesday. "I've got COPD. I was supposed to have an appointment here Monday, but they closed. Now, i can't find out who I've gotta go see."

The man said he needs his medical records for a disability claim.

"That's what I need the records for, but I can't get them," he shrugged. "They're telling me they'll call me later."

Employees at the clinic would not answer any of our questions. Channel 3 did reach out to the hospital's President for answers and advice for current patients, but our messages were not returned.

Hutcheson has faced many financial struggles in recent years. Four years ago, Erlanger stepped in and loaned the hospital $20 million so it could stay open.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Karolyis say gymnastics abuse scandal was like 'bomb exploding'

    Karolyis say gymnastics abuse scandal was like 'bomb exploding'

    Friday, April 20 2018 8:43 AM EDT2018-04-20 12:43:45 GMT
    Legendary gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi say there is no way they could have known that the disgraced Olympic doctor was preying on girls on their property.More
    Legendary gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi say there is no way they could have known that the disgraced Olympic doctor was preying on girls on their property.More
  • Delays expected on Ringgold Rd due to construction

    Delays expected on Ringgold Rd due to construction

    Friday, April 20 2018 8:36 AM EDT2018-04-20 12:36:04 GMT

    Drivers who take Ringgold Road as part of their daily commute can expect delays today. The City of East Ridge wants to inform drivers that delays are to be expected in the area of Ringgold Road and I-75 due to construction lane closures. Plan ahead if you

    More

    Drivers who take Ringgold Road as part of their daily commute can expect delays today. The City of East Ridge wants to inform drivers that delays are to be expected in the area of Ringgold Road and I-75 due to construction lane closures. Plan ahead if you

    More
  • What the Tech? Recycling electronics

    What the Tech? Recycling electronics

    Friday, April 20 2018 7:59 AM EDT2018-04-20 11:59:22 GMT
    We've all got old non-working electronics around the house. You can't (shouldn't) throw them out with the rest of the garbage but what can you do with them? Where's a good place to take them?More
    We've all got old non-working electronics around the house. You can't (shouldn't) throw them out with the rest of the garbage but what can you do with them? Where's a good place to take them? More
Powered by Frankly