"As of right now we don't have a staff or patients," Kitty Ashcraft, director of Spring River Home Health and Hospice said. She said they received the news the agency, which is located on Highway 62/412 in Highland, would close March 15. The administrative staff worked their last day March 17.
Ashcraft said the agency had 14 full-time employees, most of who already have jobs lined up. All the patients have already chosen other agencies that service the area.
Other hospices in the area include Legacy Hospice in Salem and the hospice in Calico Rock. Home healthcare providers in the area are Sharp County Home Healthcare and White River Home Health.
"The nursing staff has already found jobs," Ashcraft said, adding that those still with the hospice have not.
The majority of SRHHH's patients were the elderly and the agency received most of its money through Medicare Ashcraft said. She said the patients were people who were not able to go into treatment everyday.
Ashcraft said the reasons for closing were financial problems and dissatisfied employees. She said the employees had lots of problems, mainly that they received no benefits such as holidays, sick days or vacations.
The home healthcare part of SRHHH took care of patients who would likely get better while the hospice took care of the terminally ill.
The owner of SRHHH, Bob Becht, was not available for comment. Becht is also the owner of the building which housed Eastern Ozarks Regional Health System. The hospital closed its doors in 2005.
A deal with a prospective buyer, Frank Schupp, fell through in early in the year after negotiations had began in fall of 2005.