Eugene’s mayor has asked Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek to force the PeaceHealth hospital to keep open in the City of Eugene. The company is closing PeaceHealth University District Medical Center due to massive financial losses of up to $24 million a year.
The site serves homeless and druggies, which may be part of the cash flow problems. PeaceHealth built a massive new flagship campus 10 minutes away in Springfield in 2008.
Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis keynoted a rally on Monday, calling on Kotek and the Oregon Health Authority to deny the hospital its plans to close, since it is the only hospital in Eugene.
PeaceHealth, a not-for-profit, also runs a medical clinic in Craig and a hospital in Ketchikan, Alaska, as well as six hospital centers in Oregon and nine in Washington state, its home base.
But even as PeaceHealth has reduced its workforce, it reported a $240.7 million operating loss for the 2023 fiscal year, on top of $252 million the year before. Right now, its operating margin is -7.3%.
S&P Global downgraded PeaceHealth’s credit score in July.
“The downgrades reflect our view of PeaceHealth’s substantial and accelerating multi-year operating losses coupled with our expectation that improving its performance could take some time,” the ratings company explained.
Fitch, a bond ratings service, had earlier this year downgraded PeaceHealth, citing the company’s poor cash position and describing “the considerable operating stress PeaceHealth has faced recently. Despite these challenges, Fitch expects PeaceHealth’s operating results to show steady and significant improvement over time.”
According to the Lund Report, almost all of the system’s hospitals have either lost money or broken even for several years.