Crenshaw Community Hospital To Stop Delivering Babies

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By Catalina Trivino

As of next week, one hospital in Crenshaw County will stop delivering babies -- meaning expectant moms will have to go somewhere else to give birth.

There's not another hospital close to these women, which means they'll have to drive at least 40 minutes away to deliver.

Crenshaw Community Hospital has been delivering babies for more than 20 years now and in less than two weeks, those services will be a thing of the past.

Hospital CEO, Brad Eiseman, says they're closing the department due to financial pressure from sequestration and cuts under the Affordable Care Act.

"The overall operation is impacted by the OB services, so we have to make up the impact of OB and other departments in the hospital and that's where the sequestration cuts and future cuts of the Affordable Care Act come into play," Said Eiseman.

Eiseman says the number of babies born in the hospital has declined over the years... another influence to the decision. Last year, 108 babies were delivered, but Eiseman says to be able to afford providing the services at least 300 babies need to be delivered.

But it's the facts that has board member of the Crenshaw County Hospital Authority, Alan Sexton, skeptical. While Eiseman says the numbers were presented to the hospital board, Sexton says he's never seen them.

"Not anything showing were they losing money? Were they making money? Or where finanically they stand on OB services? My argument is we need to see full disclosure before a service is taken away from the citizens of this county," Said Sexton.

And with July 3rd being the last day to deliver babies at Crenshaw Community Hospital, it has some county leaders wondering what will happen to the soon-to-be parents in the area.

"I don't know what these people are going to do or where they're going to go and how many people in these rural communities both in Butler [County], as well as Pike [County] that could be using this service. Where are they going to go?" Said County commissioner, Merrill Sport.

Andalusia, Enterprise, Montgomery and Dothan are the closest cities to provide OB services.

After Monday night's c

ounty commission meeting, county leaders voted to invite Eiseman for their next meeting on July 8 to answer unanswered questions.



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