Judge orders Indiana hospital to keep ER open for 9 months

Just hours before the facility was set to close, a judge ordered Franciscan Health to keep the emergency room of its hospital in Hammond, Ind., open for nine months, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported Dec. 22. 

On Dec. 22, Lake Superior Court Judge Bruce D. Parent granted the preliminary injunction requested Dec. 19 by Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. The decision arrived 16 hours before the ER was set to close, and mandates the health system to "take all steps necessary to ensure that the facility in downtown Hammond remains legally licensed and operational."

The judge concluded his order with a warning that he is unlikely to extend this grace period beyond the next nine months.

In early November, Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Health announced its plan to end inpatient and emergency care at the 226-bed hospital in Hammond by year's end. The move was a revision of its 2021 plans to scale down the hospital to a 10-bed inpatient unit and emergency department. Under the new plan announced Nov. 3, inpatient and emergency care were set to end completely, with the system directing patients to its hospitals in Munster and Dyer, which are two and six miles away, respectively. 

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