QUINCY (CBS) — Quincy Medical Center is closing after years of losing millions of dollars and filling fewer hospital beds.

Hospital officials said Thursday that the 196-bed facility will close on Dec. 31 and its parent company Steward Health Care Systems will replace it with a 24-hour emergency department and outpatient urgent care center. Current patients will be transferred to area hospitals and Steward said it will work to try and place hundreds of Quincy employees at jobs in its other hospitals.

“While Quincy Medical Center earns top quality and safety ratings, competition from Boston-area medical centers, significant cuts to Medicare reimbursements, continued Medicaid underfunding, continued rate disparity, and precipitously declining inpatient volume have made QMC unsustainable,” said Dr. Mark Girard, President of Steward Hospitals, in a statement. “On an average day, only 1/5 of all beds are occupied and it has become abundantly clear that local residents no longer seek inpatient services from Quincy Medical Center.”

Girard said the medical center has faced “serious financial hardships” that have required bailouts of more than $100 million from the city and state.

“Since 2011, Steward has invested an additional $100 million in the hospital, but it has operating losses of nearly $20 million a year,” he said. “The overwhelming majority of patients, especially commercial patients, leave Quincy for inpatient care and those who do use QMC use the hospital primarily for outpatient services.”

Steward noted that more patients are heading into Boston for routine care, and said only 16 percent of Quincy-area residents sought inpatient hospital care in Quincy in the last year.

In 2013, nurses went on a one-day strike at Quincy Medical Center to highlight poor care for patients, saying that Steward Health Care is under-staffing their medical centers to save money.


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