MESA, Ariz. - Hacienda Healthcare is closing its children’s hospital in Mesa as Hacienda deals with "unbudgeted, unprecedented costs" in the wake of multiple problems at a Phoenix facility, the company announced in a statement Friday.
There are currently four patients in the 24-bed hospital, which will stay open until the last of those remaining patients is ready to be discharged or a new owner can be found for the hospital.
The Hacienda Children’s Hospital is a specialty hospital that provides non-emergency, non-surgical care to children leaving surgical or intensive care but are not yet ready to return home. The hospital also trains parents on delivering medical care to children who will need ongoing treatments at home.
The hospital currently employs 42 staffers, but the release said layoffs are unlikely. The employees will be offered positions in other Hacienda locations.
According to the statement, Hacienda no longer has the revenue to sustain the Mesa children’s hospital “in the face of difficult circumstances.”
Hacienda Healthcare has been under scrutiny since a woman with severe intellectual disabilities was raped and gave birth to a baby at a Phoenix intermediate care facility in December. A former nurse at the facility will soon go to trial on charges of sexual abuse and abuse of a vulnerable adult.
In June, the Arizona Department of Health Services began the process to revoke Hacienda Healthcare’s license after a patient at the same facility where the woman was raped was found with maggots under a bandage covering a surgical incision.
DHS said a survey also detailed two incidents of possible abuse at the intermediate care facility that inspectors said went nowhere. The inspection found the organization failed to implement its abuse policy in those incidents.
Shortly after DHS moved to revoke Hacienda’s license, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would terminate its agreement with Hacienda Healthcare for “failing to meet Medicaid’s basic health and safety requirements.” The termination was effective July 3.
In Hacienda's statement Friday, interim chief executive officer Perry Petrilli said the decision to close the children's hospital was difficult but necessary.
“Over the past year, Hacienda has taken on enormous unbudgeted, unprecedented costs, from installing a new security system for our intermediate care facility to hiring off-duty police officers and facility security to legal costs and the cost of third-party monitoring,” said Petrilli.
“When you couple that heavy financial toll with the state’s months-long moratorium on admissions to the ICF, the Skilled Nursing Facility and some of our other programs for developmentally disabled individuals, something had to give.”