Indiana hospital ER shutters after appeals court ruling

Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Health said it has closed the emergency room in Hammond, Ind., as of Dec. 31, 2022. 

The decision follows a ruling from the Indiana Court of Appeals, which gave the OK for the closure.

"As most ambulances have already stopped bringing patients to Franciscan Health Hammond, we do not expect that closing the emergency department will cause disruption in emergency medical care for residents," Franciscan Health Hammond, Dyer and Munster Interim President and CEO Barbara Anderson said in a statement shared with Becker's. "As we pointed out to the court of appeals, many Hammond neighborhoods are closer to other hospitals within the region than they were to Franciscan Health Hammond. 

"We believe this decision prioritizes patient safety, which has been our primary concern throughout the legal proceedings."

The appeals court decision comes after Lake Superior Court Judge Bruce Parent on Dec. 29 upheld his order for Franciscan Health to keep its emergency room in Hammond open for nine months. 

The health system argued that keeping it open for that period is unsafe, as it has terminated various contracts needed to maintain operations.

Franciscan Health announced in November its plan to end inpatient and emergency care at its Hammond hospital by the end of 2022. On Dec. 22, Mr. Parent granted a preliminary injunction requested by Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. for continued ER operations in Hammond for nine months. 

Mr. Parent upheld his decision Dec. 29, and the health system appealed the decision with the Indiana Court of Appeals.


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