Merit Health reducing services at Jackson facility, company confirms

Cardiovascular surgery, neonatal intensive care unit among services that will be moved to other hospitals in metro
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 9:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Merit Health Central, a major hospital that provides care to tens of thousands of Jacksonians, will soon be reducing what care can be provided at that facility, though the reasons for that have not yet been disclosed by company management.

Jana Fuss, Merit Health’s director of marketing, told 3 On Your Side that its cardiovascular surgery, neonatal intensive care unit, endoscopy and other unspecified services would be consolidated, meaning they’ll be moved from the Jackson location to one of the company’s four other Merit Health locations in the metro area.

The company first notified state health officials of the decision to move cardiovascular services six months ago, according to documentation from the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Five days ago, Merit Health also filed a certificate of need with MSDH to relocate its psychiatric services as well, though it’s unclear from the documents reviewed whether those services would be added or taken away from the Jackson location.

News of the consolidation comes two weeks after the company announced the state’s only burn center -- located inside Merit Health Central -- would close in mid-October.

“The five Jackson-area Merit Health hospitals share a commitment to serve residents of Jackson and the surrounding region,” Fuss said to WLBT in an emailed statement. “We regularly review our operations and evaluate how we can best apply our resources to offer needed services and strengthen our operations.”

Fuss said Merit Health Central’s labor, delivery department and nursery would remain fully operational, housing “term and near-term infants who are sufficiently stable for rooming-in with their mothers.”

She said the Jackson hospital would also continue to provide medical, surgical, operating room and intensive care services, as well as emergency care and obstetrics.

Fuss declined to answer what these measures meant for the hospital’s long-term plan concerning Merit Health Central.

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