Hospitals cutting services over staffing shortages

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

At least five hospitals across three states announced plans in recent months to scale back care due to staffing shortages. 

Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins, Wyo., is ending labor and delivery services June 15 amid staffing shortages. The hospital is 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

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

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. 

"Based on ongoing staffing issues … we have determined that it is no longer possible to sustainably operate this program in the long term," Mark Gendreau, MD, chief medical officer of Beverly Hospital, told The Salem News

In New York, Schenectady-based Ellis Medicine paused services in the inpatient adolescent mental health unit at Ellis Hospital, effective May 2. The health system cited staffing as a factor. 

"We arrived at the difficult, but necessary, decision following persistent staffing limitations stemming from the local and national healthcare employee shortage, which will limit our abilities in the months ahead to safely staff this unit on a 24/7 basis," the health system said in an April 30 news release shared with Becker's Hospital Review. 

Ellis Medicine paused overnight emergency services at the Medical Center of Clifton Park (N.Y.) in March due to staffing issues. 

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