5 hospitals closing departments or ending services

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

Here are five closures or services ending, announced, advanced or finalized that Becker's has reported on since Dec. 2: 

1. Anacortes, Wash.-based Island Health on Dec. 30 is closing its sleep center, which employs 11 people, as part of an effort to offset losses. The system will end the year with a loss of about $5 million. It also plans to restructure its leadership team.  

2. Sunnyside, Wash.-based Astria Health on Dec. 16 will end many cardiology services at  Astria Sunnyside Hospital and its clinics in the Lower Valley region. The decision to scale back services is down to staffing challenges and increasing supply and labor costs, Astria Health President and CEO Brian Gibbons said in a statement. 

3. University Hospitals' Richmond Heights (Ohio) Medical Center will close its behavioral health unit, the last unit in operation at the hospital. The Cleveland-based health system is ending inpatient care, emergency services and surgeries at the hospital. The decision was driven by staff shortages. In July, University Hospitals also announced that it was ending inpatient, surgical and emergency services at UH Bedford (Ohio) Medical Center. The health system is shifting services from the two hospitals to other system hospitals in the region. 

4. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare temporarily paused gender-affirming procedures in response to concerns from some clinicians, the Memphis, Tenn.-based health system told Becker's on Dec. 2. The health system did not specify the focus of clinicians' questions. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare said it has not changed its care policies for transgender or nonbinary patients and added that physicians are working with patients to reschedule procedures before the end of the year. 

5. Carthage, Ill.-based Memorial Hospital's Stork Stopp closed Dec. 1, transitioning all labor and delivery services to Blessing Hospital in Quincy. Services were transferred due to difficulty recruiting nursing staff and dependence on contracted agency nurses. 

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