MU Health to close rehabilitation center, affecting 320+ employees

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Columbia-based University of Missouri Health Care plans to close its rehabilitation center in Mt. Vernon on Oct. 31, affecting the long-term acute-care hospital's 323 employees.

The decision was made "in light of recent changes in the healthcare environment," said Mitch Wasden, MU Health Care's CEO and COO. Those include care offered by 12 newer, competing long-term acute-care facilities in the state, declining patient volumes, uncertainty of state funding and a "very old physical plant"  in Mt. Vernon that needs repairs and upkeep.

Of the Missouri Rehabilitation Center's 323 total employees, 265 are full-time workers. The center has six physicians and 156 support staff included in the total. MU Health Care plans to provide transition pay and benefits as well as transition assistance. The affected employees will have priority consideration for other jobs within the system.  

"We will work closely with other long-term acute-care centers and rehabilitation centers around the state to ensure all MRC patients receive the care they need," Mr. Wasden said. MRC currently has 24 inpatients, but has the capacity for 130. However, it has not operated at full capacity for the last decade.

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