Mayo VP: System's transition from Albert Lea is necessary, but quality of care will not diminish

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's transition of services from its Albert Lea to Austin location has spurred much community uproar, but the service changes will ultimately prove more sustainable for Mayo while also maintaining quality care, according to an op-ed penned by Bobbie Gostout, MD, a vice president at Mayo.

Mayo is removing inpatient, ICU and birthing services from Albert Lea and transitioning Austin's behavioral health services to Albert Lea.

Dr. Gostout argues that it is no longer financially viable to operate inpatient and birthing services at both Minnesota locations, as each site has seen a 50 percent decline for both services recent years. However, she also notes that these services represent less than 5 percent of care provided at Albert Lea.

Dr. Gostout points out that, while these locations are technically two campuses of the same hospital, they have operated as stand-alone hospitals up until this point. She says that offering the most expensive services to declining demand at both campuses is an inefficient mode of operation.

While the prospect of service consolidation may be frightening, Dr. Gostout argues that it will not affect jobs or care at either location. She said Mayo will be more actively engaging with the Albert Lea community to address concerns as the transition begins. 

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