Missouri hospital to close

Ripley County Memorial Hospital in Doniphan, Mo., will cease operations Oct. 15, making it the fifth rural hospital to close in the state since 2010.

Cape Girardeau, Mo.-based SoutheastHealth, which operates Ripley County Memorial, cited low patient volume as a reason for the closure. The hospital sees an average of two patients per day, Shauna Hoffman, vice president of marketing and business development for SoutheastHealth, told Missourinet.

"If you can imagine the heavy amount of infrastructure of staffing and resources that it takes to keep a hospital that size open for essentially just two patients," Ms. Hoffman said. "So that's an ongoing concern that we have had, and we've been evaluating for some time."

SoutheastHealth plans to offer outpatient services at the facility until Dec. 1, when Ellington-based Missouri Highlands Health Care is slated to take over Ripley County Memorial. Missouri Highlands plans to convert the facility to an urgent care clinic, according to Missourinet.

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