Citing financial challenges, LRGHealthcare says it’s reviewing whether it will need to cut or change some of its programs – including its maternity unit.
The Laconia hospital said the future of its Family Birthplace is especially uncertain because of declining birth rates, low Medicaid reimbursement rates and difficulty retaining staff.
“LRGHealthcare will likely need to determine actions to cut expenses and/or increase revenue,” LRGHealthcare President and CEO Kevin Donovan said in a press release the hospital issued Tuesday.
“Therefore we need to look hard at the services we provide and whether they can be done more efficiently. It might also mean deciding there are certain things we just cannot do anymore. We would not be doing our job if we did not consider all options.”
State Health Commissioner Jeff Meyers said the hospital told his office there may be a “discontinuation of some maternity services,” and the state is working with the hospital to find possible alternatives.
“We obviously want to make sure that as a state individuals in that area have access to those services,” Meyers said. “So we’re working with other providers and with Lakes Region to ensure there are other providers that can provide access to those services.”
The hospital says no final decisions have been made about closing the maternity ward or changing any other programs, and patients can continue to seek care as usual until further notice. If the unit does close, it could leave a significant gap in maternity care for the central New Hampshire region.