Hospitals cutting services over staffing shortages

As hospitals across the U.S. face workforce shortages, several have had to halt services. 

At least six hospitals announced plans in recent months to scale back care due to staffing shortages. 

  • Cleveland-based University Hospitals announced July 14 that it is ending inpatient, surgical and emergency services at UH Bedford (Ohio) Medical Center and UH Richmond Medical Center in Richmond Heights, Ohio, on Aug. 12. The health system attributed the changes to a staffing shortage.

  • Beverly (Mass.) Hospital announced in May that it is closing its freestanding birth center in September because of staffing shortages. The move comes after the hospital had to temporarily stop taking new birth center patients in March because of staffing problems. Members of Congress from Massachusetts are urging hospital leaders to reconsider closing the birth center.

  • Williamston, N.C.-based Martin General Hospital is planning to close its intensive care unit temporarily beginning Aug. 1. Nursing staff shortages are the primary reason for the closure, the hospital said.

  • South Lincoln Medical Center in Kemmerer, Wyo., stopped providing labor and delivery services June 1, and the critical access hospital's operating room is no longer open around the clock for emergency surgeries. In March, hospital leaders said the facility was scaling back services because it was unable to recruit the number of surgical nurses needed to maintain a full surgical team all the time.

  • Citing staff shortages and financial woes, Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, said in May that it is scaling back some behavioral health services. The health system is closing its inpatient addiction recovery program and outpatient psychiatry practice.

  • Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins, Wyo., ended labor and delivery services June 15 amid staffing shortages. The hospital was spending $100,000 a week on travel nurses after losing five nurses in the labor and delivery department. Eliminating labor and delivery services will help the hospital alleviate financial pressure, a spokesperson told Wyoming Public Radio.

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