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Stamford Healthcare System closing ER, discontinuing inpatient care

(Stamford Healthcare System)

Stamford Healthcare System is closing its emergency room and discontinuing inpatient care.

The changes will take effect next Monday, July 9, at 5 p.m.

Stamford Healthcare System CEO Rick DeFoore said that the decision to discontinue inpatient care is "due to a steady decline in hospital inpatients over the past ten years."

The average inpatient number for the hospital was 2.6 in 2007 and .48 for the first half of 2018, and Medicare laws require an average of two inpatients per day.

"Inpatient hospital services cannot continue without Medicare funds," DeFoore said.

The annual cost to run emergency room services is $1,700,000.

DeFoore said that closing the ER will allow the hospital to "maintain other primary healthcare services."

Those include a "full service, expanded-hours health clinic," laboratory and radiology services (x-ray, CT and ultrasound) and physical therapy.

“It is with mixed emotion that we announce the new design for healthcare at Stamford Healthcare System,” said DeFoore. “While it is an end of an era for inpatient services at Stamford Memorial Hospital, it is our plan to continue to offer the maximum sustainable level of healthcare services possible as we make this transition."

The hospital will continue to host VA services and specialty clinics, and other services such as Country Elegance and Stamford Health Club will continue with no change.

Nationally, more than 84 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and hundreds more are in danger, according to the National Rural Health Association.

"A new design for Stamford Healthcare System is a critical first step toward ensuring that quality healthcare services continue to be available for the community of Stamford and surrounding areas," DeFoore said.

As a result of the changes, 54 people will lose their jobs, which is in addition to the 29 layoffs reported in June by the Abilene Reporter-News.

The plan was presented to the Stamford Hospital District Board of Directors and the Jones County Regional Healthcare System Board of Directors on Monday.

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