Steward closes Massachusetts hospital ED

Quincy (Mass.) Medical Center, which has operated as a freestanding emergency department since 2014, has closed, according to The Patriot Ledger.

The closure, which occurred at 7 a.m. Nov. 1, made Quincy the largest city in Massachusetts without an ED. 

Dallas-based Steward Health Care bought the medical center in 2011 and abruptly ended all services except for emergency care in 2014. 

Steward sold the building housing the ED to FoxRock Properties in 2016 and signed a lease to operate the ED through 2021, with a clause that allowed for early termination.

FoxRock, which is building a 465-unit apartment building, said in July it would terminate its lease with Steward in November. Steward said it does not plan to relocate the ED in the city, citing underuse of the facility and years of declining patient volume.

"We understand that there may be those who are apprehensive about closing the emergency room, but the need for emergency care has decreased in favor of more accessible services that patients prefer, like urgent care centers," Tom Sands, president of Steward's Carney Hospital said in a meeting discussing the closure in September, according to the Ledger.

He said that other local EDs could easily absorb the emergency care caseload. 

Becker's Hospital Review has reached out to Steward for comment.

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