OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Saint Luke’s will close two community hospital locations at the end of the year, the health system said, to streamline services and focus on locations where there’s a greater demand for emergency care.
The two locations that will close, effective Dec. 30, are the Saint Luke’s Community Hospitals at 75th Street and Metcalf Avenue and also at 159th Street and 69 Highway, both in Overland Park.
Saint Luke’s introduced its community hospitals in 2018 to combat overcrowded emergency rooms at the metro’s largest hospitals.
Bobby Olm-Shipman, Saint Luke’s south and east region CEO, said the concept has done “remarkably well” and allowed the health system to expand access.
“However, two of our locations have seen lower patient volumes since opening, and as we look at ways to provide care while operating as efficiently as possible during this challenging time, we have made the decision to close these two locations,” Olm-Shipman said.
Employees at these Overland Park locations will be able to apply for other open positions within Saint Luke’s. The health system did not disclose how many employees are impacted.
After Dec. 30, patients will still be able to visit other nearby Saint Luke’s community hospital locations:
- Leawood – 132nd Street and State Line Road
- The Legends in Kansas City, Kansas
- Olathe – 135th Street and Black Bob Road
- Roeland Park – Johnson Drive and Roe Ave.
- Shawnee – Shawnee Mission Parkway and Lackman Road
This isn’t the first metro location Saint Luke’s has closed during the pandemic.
The health system also closed Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth, effective Oct. 1, due to the financial impact of COVID-19.
Saint Luke’s also furloughed an undisclosed number of employees throughout the health system in June for 90 days. Senior executive also took a pay cut. Other Kansas City metro hospital groups took similar measures.
Health care systems across the country have seen increased costs for supplies and technology to treat and care for COVID-19 patients, along with the necessary personal protective equipment for all staff.
Additionally, hospitals were forced to postpone elective procedures at the height of the pandemic to keep patients, staff and the community safe. Even now that providers are offering these services again, many people are opting to wait until the pandemic ends.
Many health care experts say it’s created an unprecedented strain on some hospitals’ finances.