Austin, MN (KROC-AM News) - The challenging times faced by the healthcare industry is being cited by the Mayo Clinic for its decision to phase out child birth, inpatient hospital services, intensive care and major surgeries requiring hospitalization from the list of services offered at the Mayo Clinic Health Care System Medical Center in Albert Lea.

Those services will be consolidated 25 miles away at the Mayo Health Care System Hospital in Austin. A statement released by Mayo Monday afternoon says the affected services involve less than 5-percent of the patient visits to either facility and stress that both will continue to provide the services utilized during the vast majority of patient visits. That list includes:

  • Emergency room
  • Primary care, including pediatrics and pregnancy care (pre- and post-natal)
  • Specialty care (orthopedics, cardiology, endocrinology, neurology, etc.)
  • Outpatient surgeries and procedures
  • Laboratory, radiology and pharmacy

“We must make changes to the way we provide health care in order to be available to our patients and communities in the future,” says Bobbie Gostout, M.D., vice president, Mayo Clinic and leader of Mayo Clinic Health System. “It’s no longer feasible to duplicate some of our most complex and expensive health care services in neighboring communities. We are navigating challenging times in health care, so we are taking proactive steps to adjust the services offered on each campus.

Mayo Clinic officials say an analysis showed the medical center campus in Austin has the best layout to handle the expansion of hospital rooms and an enlarged intensive care unit. The Albert Lea campus will continue to be used for inpatient behavioral care and addiction services. Mayo officials also note the consolidation process will probably take place over a period of several years.