LRGHealthcare to shutter hospital's labor and delivery services

Laconia, N.H.-based LRGHealthcare said it will close the maternity unit at Lakes Region General Hospital, also in Laconia, according to a New Hampshire Public Radio report.

LRGHealthcare said it will close the hospital's inpatient labor and delivery services May 30, and is collaborating with Concord (N.H.) Hospital to provide these services locally. The closure won't affect prenatal, postnatal, women's health and pediatric care.

"Maternity care and delivering babies is one of the most rewarding things we do as a healthcare organization," Kevin Donovan, president and CEO of LRGHealthcare, said in a statement. "[T]his was an extremely difficult decision for everyone. However, to ensure the quality of care for our patients and address financial concerns associated with those services, it was a decision that we felt was right and ultimately inevitable."

LRGHealthcare attributed the closure to a continued decline in the number of deliveries at Lakes Region General in recent years, which dropped from 346 deliveries in 2015 to 283 in 2017. Hospital officials projected a continued decline in 2018. Mr. Donovan said this decline "presents financial challenges to providing access to the latest technology and ensuring quality care, but also presents challenges for recruiting and retaining physicians who require certain volumes to maintain skills and certification in rural areas."

LRGHealthcare said it will still offer emergency delivery services, and plans are in place for emergency deliveries.

LRGHealthcare is not the only New Hampshire organization closing hospital labor and delivery services. Lebanon, N.H.-based Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital also plans to close its maternity ward July 15 and transitioning those services to Lebanon-based Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.


More articles on patient flow:
New Hampshire hospital to close birthing unit, affecting 12 jobs
Massachusetts OKs GI unit closure at a UMass hospital
MaineGeneral Medical Center to cut endocrinology services

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