10 hospitals closing departments, ending services

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Several healthcare organizations recently closed medical units or terminated services to shore up finances, focus on more in-demand services or prevent patient care lapses. Here are 10 that have announced or completed closures in the last month:

1. Dothan, Ala.-based Flowers Hospital will end inpatient pediatric services in December. The hospital cited an increased demand for pediatric outpatient services and decreased demand for children requiring an overnight hospital stay as reasons for its decision.

2. University Hospital Summerville, a 231-bed hospital in Augusta, Ga., will close its emergency department by the end of the year. It intends to replace the ED with an urgent care center. The hospital said an urgent care center will offer a more appropriate level of care for the service area.

3. Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare will close the ED and end inpatient care at its Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick, Mass, Oct. 25, according to a statement to the community obtained by Becker's Hospital Review. The facility will be transformed into a campus for behavioral health services. 

4. One Brooklyn Health System has resumed its consolidation plan, which includes eliminating inpatient care at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, one of its three hospitals. Instead of offering hospital care, the facility will be turned into a medical village providing emergency services and primary, specialty and post-acute care.

5. Minneapolis-based M Health Fairview said Oct. 5 it would stop offering some services at St. Paul-based St. Joseph's Hospital. The health system said it will close St. Joseph's ED by the end of the year, and specialties such as neurology and bariatrics will be moved to other facilities. The health system also plans to close 16 of its 56 clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin; shut down its 90-bed Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.

6. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Mercy Health, part of Trinity Health, has closed the ED at its Hackley Campus in Muskegon, Mich. The ED has become an urgent care center.

7. Mercy Iowa City will close its mental and behavioral health unit by the end of the year. The hospital said it plans to shutter the unit due to financial pressures exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

8. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii will close its ambulatory surgery center and end gastroenterology services at its Wailuku (Hawaii) Medical Office. Kaiser cited financial challenges and the need to improve efficiency in the COVID-19 era and beyond as reasons for scaling back of services. 

9. West Hills (Calif.) Hospital, owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, plans to close its obstetrics department and neonatal intensive care unit Nov. 1. The hospital attributed the decision to a decline in births at the facility. 

10. Minneapolis-based Children's Minnesota plans to end neuro-surgical services and inpatient care for Type 1 diabetics at its St. Paul hospital. Instead, the organization expects to move those services to its Minneapolis campus. 

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that low ED volumes were the reason University Hospital Summerville was converting its ED. Becker's regrets this error.

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