St. Andrews Hospital and Health Care Center in Boothbay Harbor plans to close its emergency room and end in-patient services next year and, by the end of April, will remove the word "hospital" from its title.
Monday's announcement by Lincoln County Healthcare, which oversees the hospital, ends weeks of speculation about possible cost-cutting measures at the health care facility that serves Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Southport, reported Maine Public Broadcasting Network.
Peter Mundy, chairman of the board for Lincoln County Healthcare, said the ER will be transformed into an urgent-care center that will have daytime hours – a change that is expected to result in an average savings of 30% for patients requiring treatment for ailments that don't require an emergency room's level of services. He also said St. Andrews will focus more on preventative care.
Mundy said St. Andrews lost money in nine of the last 11 years and has seen a 10% drop in outpatient visits. Cost-cutting measures already taken by the hospital include the elimination of several unfilled positions, suspension of outpatient surgical services, bond refinancing and the elimination of four currently-filled positions.