Hospitals close clinics as financial pressures mount

Hospitals continue to face financial headwinds heading into 2024, and some are closing clinics or reducing outpatient services as a result.

The last 12 months were financially challenging for many hospitals and systems across the U.S., as inflation pushed supply and wage costs up while reimbursement growth hasn't kept up. ASCs are in a similar situation, but at a smaller scale.

Hospitals have cut services throughout the year to keep up with financial challenges and now some are closing clinics. Marietta, Ga.-based WellStar Health System plans to close down a clinic in Atlanta, which is located in a previously closed hospital, to begin the new year. PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., closed a clinic in Camas, Wash., Dec. 15 and North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison, Ark., closed two local clinics and two urgent care centers in recent weeks.

In mid-December, Astria Health in Sunnyside, Wash., ended heart procedures and interventional cardiology services at its clinics due to increased costs and continued staff shortages.

When hospitals close clinics and services, ASCs in the area have the opportunity to expand their outpatient services and potentially bring on any cut staff. The closures may also indicate an influx in patients and additional challenges for providing access to care in the community.

Click here for a full list of hospital and health system closures.

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