Ascension has announced plans to close its critical care hospital in Bedford. In a pair of notices to the state, the Missouri-based health system says Ascension St. Vincent Dunn and nine Ascension Medical Group practices in Lawrence County will cease operations in mid-December, affecting more than 130 employees.
In a statement provided to Inside INdiana Business, Ascension said the decision was made after “a thorough assessment of the hospital’s current operating environment and the healthcare landscape in Bedford.”
“Ascension St. Vincent Dunn is one of two Critical Access Hospitals in Lawrence County, just miles apart from one another. In fact, Lawrence County is one of the only counties in the country to have two critical access hospitals,” the statement said. “After exploring the options available, including conducting an unsuccessful search for a buyer for the hospital, it was clear that other providers with a larger presence in the region are better positioned to efficiently serve the residents of Bedford and neighboring communities.”
Ascension says the affected employees were notified of the move on Sept. 16. The closures are expected to be complete on Dec. 16.
“Plans are in place to ensure continuity of care for patients,” Ascension said. “Those plans include discussions with local and regional providers to transition healthcare services.”
The closure of the hospital will result in the layoffs of 77 employees. More than 50 employees will be affected by the closures of the nine AMG practices.
The health system says it will offer severance and outplacement services to affected employees who are unable to secure another position within Ascension.