Nebraska hospital to close

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MercyOne Oakland (Neb.) Medical Center is abruptly closing, largely because of low inpatient and emergency department volumes.

Effective July 1, MercyOne Oakland will halt inpatient admissions and close its ED. Clinics at MercyOne Oakland and its affiliate Lyons (Neb.) Family Medicine will remain open.

Hospital leaders are working with state officials and patients to coordinate ongoing care, according to a June 24 news release. Beth Hughes, president of the Western Iowa region for West Des Moines, Iowa-based MercyOne, said, "The decision to close a hospital may be the most difficult one a health system ever faces. We care deeply about our patients and the communities we serve, and this is something we take very seriously."

MercyOne Oakland has seen declining use for a number of years, according to the news release. Ms. Hughes said MercyOne will focus on its clinics in Oakland and possibly build a replacement medical practice in the area.

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