St. Vincent closure of Lafayette hospital to ax 83 jobs

St. Vincent Health will close its long-term acute care hospital in Lafayette in the next two months, leaving as many as 83 workers without jobs.

The Indianapolis-based hospital system stopped accepting new patients last week at the 29-bed Seton Specialty Hospital for patients that require hospital stays of 25 days or longer. The Lafayette facility will close after all its current patients have ended their stays.

St. Vincent will continue to operate its other Seton Specialty Hospital in Indianapolis.

The move is the latest in a string of consolidations or consolidation plans announced by Indiana hospitals.

St. Vincent officials said they would have had to find a new home for their Seton Specialty Hospital because the hospital campus on which it leased space—the Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health’s Central campus—moved its operations to the Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health’s East campus last month.

“It is unfortunate that we will be closing our Lafayette facility, but we remain committed to serving long-term acute care patients and families at our Indianapolis location,” said Peter Alexander, administrator of St. Vincent Seton Specialty, in a prepared statement. “Our priority is to work with local physicians and Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health to ensure patients have access to our high level of expertise and compassionate care.”

St. Vincent said it would allow its 83 Lafayette employees priority consideration for open jobs elsewhere in St. Vincent’s 22-hospital system. For those who don’t find a job, St. Vincent said, it will provide severance and outplacement services.

The Seton Specialty Hospital in Indianapolis has been running at higher occupancy and posting larger profits than its counterpart in Lafayette, according to St. Vincent’s most recent filings with the Indiana State Department of Health.

The Seton Specialty hospital in Lafayette pulled in revenue from operations of $13.1 million in its 2012-2013 fiscal year, the most recent for which St. Vincent has reported financial results. The Seton hospital in Lafayette turned a profit from operations of $1.3 million, or a 10-percent profit margin.

Its occupancy that fiscal year averaged 62.5 percent.

The Seton Specialty hospital in Indianapolis had revenue from operations of $45.7 million in that same fiscal year. It posted a profit from operations of $7.1 million, or a 15.5-percent profit margin. Its 72 beds were occupied an average of 84.5 percent of the time that year.

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