California hospital to close after restructuring plan fails

Saddleback Memorial – San Clemente (Calif.) has announced it will close May 31.

The primary reason for the closure is dwindling patient volumes. Hospital officials said many days there are less than 10 inpatients at the hospital, and the number of inpatient surgeries has dropped to less than one a day.

The hospital's parent system, Fountain Valley, Calif.-based MemorialCare Health System, explored other options before deciding to shut down the facility. In August 2014, MemorialCare announced plans to convert the 73-bed hospital into an outpatient medical campus. The system worked with state lawmakers on legislation that would have allowed a satellite emergency department at the outpatient campus in San Clemente. However, the legislation failed in January. The following week, the San Clemente City Council voted to rezone the San Clemente campus property to require hospital services.

"Without legislation to allow a satellite emergency department, and given this new restrictive rezoning that requires hospital services, the vision to convert the campus into a modern ambulatory care center cannot now be achieved," said hospital officials.

Saddleback Memorial – Laguna Hills (Calif.) will remain open and hospital officials said they are exploring ways to add new urgent care services in San Clemente.

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