Moncrief Army Community Hospital will begin transitioning to an Army Health Clinic, discontinuing inpatient medical and behavioral health services, on June 15, Fort Jackson officials announced Tuesday.
Moncrief spokesman Nicholas Spinelli said 74 civilian physicians, nurses and medical technicians will be affected by the change. All are either accepting early retirement or buyouts or are expected to transfer to other positions at the clinic.
"No one is being fired," he said.
The 24-bed hospital has 1,045 civilian and military workers, Spinelli said.
"The health and wellness of all of our beneficiaries are extremely important to us," Col. Traci E. Crawford, Moncrief commander, said in the press release. "Moncrief will continue to provide full-service primary care to all eligible Fort Jackson beneficiaries, including active duty service members, soldiers in training, family members and community retirees."
Moncrief beneficiaries will also continue to receive and have access to inpatient and operative services at local TRICARE network hospitals or at nearby military hospitals such as Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga., the release said, adding that those facilities already provide inpatient and surgical care for higher complexity cases that cannot be performed at Moncrief.
"I want all our beneficiaries to know that your access to care isn't changing," Crawford said in a news release. "Those needing referrals to surgical or specialty services will still receive them from their primary care provider. The only difference will be where you go to have the surgery done. Although this transition is necessary, the Army's commitment to ensuring soldiers and their families have access to timely, safe, quality care will never change."
Fort Jackson has alerted Columbia's Providence Hospitals they may receive patients because of this transition, according to Kelly M. Perritt, hospital spokeswoman. It was unclear late Tuesday whether Palmetto Health Richland also had been advised of possibly increased patient loads as a result of the decision.
Moncrief and Fort Jackson have scheduled a town hall meeting May 24 to discuss the transition with the beneficiary population and local community as well as address any questions, comments or concerns, the release said.