Spaulding Hospital in Salem announces it is closing; 320 workers affected

IndustriesAssociated Press

A Salem rehabilitation hospital that can trace its roots in the city to the 18th century is closing its doors in September.

Spaulding Hospital officials tell The Salem News (http://bit.ly/1H3Yrak ) that upcoming changes in federal regulations designed to cut Medicare costs will lead to dramatic reductions in the types of patients Spaulding will be allowed to admit.

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The closing will affect 320 workers, although the exact number of layoffs has yet to be determined.

A union official called the announcement a "devastating blow" to employees, some of whom have worked at Spaulding for decades.

Spaulding is a 160-bed hospital for patients with long-term recoveries.

David Storto, president of Partners Continuing Care, which oversees Spaulding, said the average inpatient occupancy rate has already declined from 70 percent to 48 percent.

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Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News, http://www.salemnews.com