11 hospitals closing departments or ending services

A number of healthcare organizations have recently closed medical departments or ended services at facilities to shore up finances, focus on more in-demand services or address staffing shortages.

Here are department closures or services ending, announced, advanced or finalized that Becker's has reported since Jan. 19:

1. St. Marys, Pa.-based Penn Highlands Elk, part of DuBois, Pa.-based Penn Highlands Healthcare, will close its labor and delivery services May 1. The services will be transferred to the Maternal and Child Center at Penn Highlands DuBois. 

2. Oakdale, Calif.-based Oak Valley Hospital said Feb. 2 it would close its five-bed intensive care unit, discontinue its family support network department and lay off 28 employees, including those in senior management and supervisor positions. The Oak Valley Hospital District is also freezing certain, non-direct patient care job openings to reduce costs. 

3. Rumford (Maine) Hospital will close its maternity program March 31 after 97 years in service. The services are ending due to a number of factors, including a decline in birth rate as well as staff shortages among obstetricians and the need for a more consistent plan for women's healthcare in the region. 

4. Mayo Clinic Health System's New Prague, Minn., site closed its labor and delivery services Feb. 9 due to low birth volumes and physician shortages. 

5. Port Arthur-based the Medical Center of Southeast Texas, part of Dallas-based Steward Health Care, closed its Beaumont campus, including its emergency department and all hospital-related services, Feb. 2. A Steward spokesperson told Becker's  the campus was "severely underutilized given the needs in the region." All care offered at the Beaumont location will be taken in by the center's Port Arthur campus.

6. Long Beach (Calif.) Medical Center, part of Fountain Valley, Calif.-based MemorialCare, closed its outpatient retail pharmacy Feb. 2, affecting 13 full-time positions. During a recent internal assessment, MemorialCare found 70% of patients discharged from its hospitals fill prescriptions at outside pharmacies. 

7. Phillips, Wis.-based Marshfield Medical Center Park Falls Home Health and Hospice facility, part of Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic, will close at the end of February due to limited resources.

8. Springfield, Ill.-based Hospital Sisters Health System announced Jan. 22 that it would close its Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and St. Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls, "around the end of the first quarter of 2024." Additionally, HSHS is closing all locations and health centers it operates in Western Wisconsin in partnership with Green Bay, Wis.-based multispecialty group Prevea Health. The majority of the health centers — which include a range of settings, including urgent care centers, clinics and medical offices — are expected to be closed by April 21, except for the Prevea residency clinics that will close by June 30. The number of sites that will close was not initially specified by HSHS. 

9. Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Health ended and divested its Precision Genomics Laboratory Feb. 1. Intermountain sold its precision genomics laboratory and two tests that analyze the DNA of tumors and blood — TheraMap: Solid Tumor and TheraMap: Liquid Biopsy — to Myriad Genetics, a Salt Lake City-based genetic testing and precision medicine company and Intermountain partner. 

10. Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Health Network is cutting its chiropractic services and laying off 10 chiropractors, effective April 12, due to restructuring.

11. Essentia Health-Fosston (Minn.) hospital shuttered its labor and delivery services, prompting a Minnesota Department of Health public hearing on Jan. 30. High-risk pregnancy growth, a decrease in birth volumes, and provider recruitment challenges were all factors in the hospital's decision. Fosston's city leaders are aiming to reclaim the hospital to keep services from closing.

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