Kansas hospital to close by year's end

Mercy, a St. Louis-based health system with more than 40 acute care and specialty hospitals, plans to close its hospital in Fort Scott, Kan., by the end of the year.

Mercy officials cited declining patient volume and shrinking reimbursement as the reasons for the closure of the 46-bed hospital, according to KOAM.

"Like many rural hospitals across the country, we have struggled to remain viable as community needs have changed," said Reta Baker, president of Mercy Hospital Fort Scott. "We considered — and exhausted — every possibility for keeping our doors open, and ultimately we had to acknowledge that it's a different era for hospital care in Fort Scott."

Although the hospital will cease all services by Dec. 31, Mercy officials are working to maintain primary care services in Fort Scott and other nearby communities through an agreement with Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas in Pittsburg.

Mercy did not disclose how many employees would be affected by the closure. Some employees may transfer to other Mercy facilities, according to the report.

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