PeaceHealth to close Oregon hospital

Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth is taking initial steps to close its Eugene (Ore.) University District hospital as the health system shifts operations to its RiverBend campus, the hospital system said.

"After careful consideration and an ongoing ethical discernment, PeaceHealth has decided to close the hospital at University District," Alicia Beymer, chief administrative officer of PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center, University District, said in a release. "We believe consolidating some services at RiverBend will provide an enhanced care experience."

PeaceHealth reportedly sent an email to caregivers and providers revealing it wants to temporarily relocate 27 beds from Eugene to the Springfield, Ore.-based RiverBend in early 2024 to expedite the hospital closure, according to an Aug. 22 report from ABC affiliate KEZI. The system confirmed the 27-bed number.

PeaceHealth, which described the Eugene location as "underutilized" in the press release shared with Becker's, also confirmed it will currently maintain behavioral health services at Eugene, which it said has unsustainable negative operating margins.

The closure will evolve over a lengthy process that will include the ending of emergency services. PeaceHealth and LifePoint Health plan to jointly open a 50-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility on the RiverBend campus, the hospital added.

PeaceHealth, which suffered a credit downgrade July 7, reported a $240.7 million operating loss for the fiscal year ending June 30.

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