8 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 eight department closures or services ending, announced, advanced or finalized that Becker's has reported in February: 

1. Wausau, Wis.-based Aspirus Health said Feb. 20 is investing $30 million into Laurium, Mich.-based Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital as part of a renovation and expansion project. Along with the upgrades to Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital, the system will transition its Aspirus Ontonagon (Mich.) Hospital into a rural health clinic. The hospital in Ontonagon will replace its hospital and emergency services with outpatient-only services.

2. Little Rock-based Arkansas Heart Hospital recently closed one clinic and plans to consolidate seven more by July. Together, those moves will reduce its roster of community clinics from 23 to 15. CEO Bruce Murphy, MD, the satellite clinics usually meet only once or twice per month and they will be consolidated into larger nearby clinics. 

3. Adventist Health Simi Valley (Calif.) hospital, part of Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health, is ending its labor and delivery services and closing its neonatal intensive care unit May 8.

4. Regional Medical Center in San Jose, Calif., plans to end its trauma services Aug. 12. The 252-bed hospital, part of Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, will close its trauma center and ST-elevation myocardial infarction program, citing declines in the utilization of its level 2 trauma services and STEMI program "over the last several years."

5. Miami-based North Shore Medical Center, part of Dallas-based Steward Health Care, closed patient care in its obstetrics unit Feb. 14, a few weeks earlier than its initial March 10 planned closure. The cut includes the hospital's neonatal unit as well as labor and delivery.

6. 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. 

7. 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. 

8. 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. 

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