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Mayo to close hospital, Emergency Dept. in Springfield

Clinics in both Springfield and Lamberton will also be closing, effective Mar. 1, 2020.
Credit: KARE

SPRINGFIELD, Minn — A Mayo hospital and emergency department in Springfield, Minn. will be closing its doors on March 1, 2020, according to a press release from the Mayo Clinic Health System.

The closures will also include clinics in both Springfield, Minn. and Lamberton, Minn., citing patient volumes, staffing challenges and regulatory concerns.

The release says the closures will affect about 60 employees.

“Mayo Clinic Health System has been proud to have a presence in Springfield and Lamberton over the past 22 years,” said James Hebl, M.D., regional vice president of Mayo Clinic Health System in a release. “This is not the outcome we wanted for our patients, our staff or the community, but it’s a decision that was necessary to make.”

The release went on to say that the Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield went through "several challenges," including the ability to find and keep physicians, as well as declining hospital admissions and an "extremely low" use of the Emergency Department.

“Smaller communities across the country have experienced declining hospital admissions and low Emergency Department volumes, which makes maintaining hospital and Emergency Department coverage increasingly difficult,” said Hebl in a release. “In addition, Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield is one of eight hospitals within a 38-mile radius, which adds to the challenge of achieving adequate patient volumes in a sparsely populated area of the state. Because there are so many health care options within a small geographic region, we see most area patients seeking hospital and specialized care at facilities outside of Springfield and Mayo Clinic Health System already.”

Officials say that another healthcare organization has expressed interest in working with Springfield and the surrounding area, but no details were provided.

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“In response to an ongoing physician shortage in Springfield, the new care model we developed in 2018 included using Emergency Department providers for hospital coverage as well. However, the skills required for each can be vastly different,” Hebl said int he release. “We’ve learned that this approach to caring for hospitalized patients can be challenging, particularly with so few admissions.”

The release added that "meeting regulatory standards" also came into question with the facilities.

Officials added that they will be working closely with Springfield city officials to establish outpatient clinic services for the area.

“Mayo Clinic Health System is committed to serving Springfield and Lamberton patients at other Mayo Clinic Health System sites and through virtual care options, such as Patient Online Services, Express Care Online and Nurse Line,” said Hebl. “Mayo Clinic Health System is also exploring new and innovative ways to bring convenient, expert care to patients where they are through digital tools, reducing the need for travel and traditional office visits.”