Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
The last remaining behavioral and mental health center operated by Nix Health will stop admitting patients this week as it prepares to close its doors after parent company Prospect Medical Holdings failed to find a buyer to continue operating the facility.
In a statement to the Rivard Report, Prospect said “the company has made every effort over the last several months to find a buyer … but those efforts did not come to fruition.”
The Nov. 30 closure of the behavioral health center at 1975 Babcock Road closely follows the Oct. 4 closure of the company’s behavioral health center at 4330 Vance Jackson Road. Remaining patients and employees at the Vance Jackson site had been transferred to the Babcock location.
Dr. Rose Rodriguez, chief medical director for the Nix behavioral health facilities, said in a text message that the “closure of the Nix psychiatric facilities is a huge loss for our community – not just in Bexar County, but for all of South Texas.”
“There is a dire shortage of inpatient psychiatric beds across the country. The Nix provided care for the most fragile and underserved patients with chronic illness in our community” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said Nix Medical Center in downtown San Antonio, which stopped admitting patients in August, had 15 geriatric psychiatry beds. The Vance Jackson behavioral health center had 56 adult psychiatry and 18 geriatric psychiatry beds, and the Babcock location had 41 adult psychiatry and 31 child psychiatry beds, she said.
“The repercussions [of these closures] will affect emergency rooms across our area where these patients will now be forced to seek care,” Rodriguez said.
Prospect first notified the Texas Workforce Commission on Aug. 23 of plans to lay off as many as 585 employees, seven years after acquiring the Nix facilities from Kentucky-based Merit Health Systems, citing “a decline in community demand” for its acute care services at the downtown hospital.
Nix also shut down its home health department, which employed 18 primarily off-site employees.
The current facility closure will impact approximately 180 employees, and any patients not discharged by the end of the month will be transferred to other health care facilities in the area, Prospect said.
As with previous Nix facility closures, Prospect said it plans to “host an on-site job fair with other local healthcare providers and outplacement services will be provided to impacted employees to help ease the transition.”
Prospect has not responded to inquiries about the future of the two remaining Nix Health locations, a sleep study laboratory and a medical office, both on Broadway.