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Mayo Clinic system to consolidate services between 2 Minnesota hospitals

As a result of staffing shortages, rising costs and falling reimbursement, Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic Health System plans to consolidate services between two of its Minnesota hospitals in Albert Lea and Austin.

After spending a year examining the services provided on both campuses, located about 25 miles apart, Mayo Clinic system officials found 95 percent of the care provided at both medical centers was outpatient, and the remaining 5 percent was inpatient care.

As a result, all inpatient services will be consolidated on the Austin campus, which will also continue to offer outpatient care. The Albert Lea campus will provide primary and specialty care, emergency care, pregnancy care and radiology as well as a lab, pharmacy and other oft-used services. Behavioral healthcare and addiction services will also be available at Albert Lea.

Officials determined the Austin campus had more room to grow, so it will keep the inpatient services.

"By adjusting our services across both campuses, we'll be able to offer higher levels of care to patients in larger, state-of-the-art units," Mark Ciota, MD, CEO of both campuses, said in a press release. "We'll be able to invest more in the latest technology and equipment because we won't be staffing and equipping two identical units in neighboring communities. We anticipate higher staff satisfaction as our talented providers, nurses and other staff are able to care for more complex patients and fewer nights on call."

The changes won't happen immediately, but rather over a span of several years as the campuses undergo remodeling.

"These changes are necessary in order to keep healthcare close to home and available for present and future generations," Dr. Ciota said.

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