California hospital moves one step closer to closing

The process of closing Palomar Hospital in downtown Escondido, Calif., moved forward Monday when the hospital's standby emergency room was shut down, according to the Times of San Diego.

Regarding the ER closure, Frank Beirne, executive vice president of operations at Escondido-based Palomar Health, said, "This transition is a positive milestone as we make progress towards the final closure of the downtown campus."

With the ER closed, the hospital will continue to offer a birth center, rehabilitation facility and behavioral health services.

Palomar Health announced plans last June to close Palomar Hospital. At that time, Palomar Health executives said the health system was losing $20 million annually by operating Palomar Hospital.  

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