The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Three medical facilities closing in King George County
King George County residents will have fewer medical options in their county as three facilities will close in coming weeks.
The Gateway Medical Urgent Care center, off State Route 3, is closing Oct. 18. In addition, King George Pediatrics and King George Medical Center will see their last patients on Nov. 15.
County officials received notice of the closures in an email Wednesday morning from Dana Tate. He’s president and CEO of Dantra Healthcare Inc., which announced on Monday it’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to restructure financially and develop a repayment plan for its creditors.
Dantra owns the company that manages the three King George facilities.
Tate said in his email to King George officials that it is “with great regret” that he announced the impending closures.
“It has been our pleasure to provide healthcare services to the citizens of King George County and beyond over the last eight years,” he wrote in the email.
He said patients would be notified by letter of the closings. His company also has hired a patient ombudsman “to ensure that all patient interests are properly addressed.”
He told The Free Lance–Star on Wednesday that he couldn’t make any additional comments or estimate how many patients were served by the three King George facilities.
The Gateway Medical Urgent Care center is located in the King George Journal Complex, off State Route 3 east of the courthouse. It opened in 2009 as the first urgent care facility in the county and offered evening and Saturday hours, as well as X–ray and lab capability.
King George Pediatrics served clients in that complex, too.
The King George Medical Center is located in Dahlgren.
When the urgent care facility opened in 2009, Tate said his company was “focused on the county,” adding: “It’s a county that needs health care.”
King George is a “medically underserved” area, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, meaning it does not have enough health providers to meet residents’ care needs.
King George Supervisor Ruby Brabo posted news of the bankruptcy and closures on her Facebook page. More than a dozen comments were posted in response, and few were favorable.
Heather DiTomaso said her family had used the urgent care facility several times and she “was glad I didn’t have to drive all the way to Fredericksburg.” But she also cited a complaint echoed by others who posted comments: problems with the billing department.
Tate said in a press release on Monday that Dantra Healthcare and its affiliated medical practices had difficulties reaching projected financial goals, “due to lower than expected patient volumes and stagnant insurance reimbursements.”
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425