CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (From news reports) - After an economic analysis, Pixelle Speciality Solutions has decided to close the Glatfelter Family and Medical Center.
It was determined that the costs of operating the medical center were no longer economically viable and therefore, Pixelle has made the decision to close the facility, according to Pixelle spokesperson Alan Ulman. The decision is effective on December 31, 2019.
"There are several lower cost options available in the community for quality medical care for our employees and their families," said Ulman in a press release.
Pixelle employees' healthcare insurance will continue to cover medical care provided by local hospitals, doctors offices, urgent care facilities and wellness centers through the Blue Cross Blue Shield network, according to Ulman. The press release states this would also increase the number of physicians available to healthcare recipients.
Information will be provided to employees to assist in researching providers and medical facilities, evaluating physician reviews and interviewing physicians. Ulman says that Highmark Blue Shield will also assist employees with finding a local primary care physician on the Highmark website or through the member services number located on the back of employees' insurance cards.
"We understand this may cause concerns, questions and inconvenience, but medical care will still be provided through the medical community," said Ulman. "We will hold open enrollment meeting sessions in the fall to assist with a smooth transition."
Current employees were notified of the closure, according to Ulman. There are no current plans for what will become of the facility.
The news comes just one month after former Glatfelter employees that Medicare-eligible retirees would no longer be able to visit the medical center beginning in September. Retiree Richard Tuttle, who was on the advisory committee for the adoption of the medical center, said it first opened in 1997.
With the sale of Glatfelter's Specialty Papers Business Unit in Chillicothe and the medical center to Pixelle Speciality Solutions in 2018, it was believed not much would change. Prior to the sale and up until now, Glatfelter was able to provide use of the facility to retirees while receiving Medicare benefits. Until the most recent purchase, retirees of all previous owners have had access to the medical center. Now the center will be closed to all retirees and current employees.
Glatfelter Vice President of Human Resources and Administration at Glatfelter Eileen Beck said the decision to prohibit some retirees from using the facility was a business decision. Ulman stated that the decision to close the entire center was also driven by economics for Pixelle.
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