PHOENIX — St. Luke's Medical Center, which has treated patients in the greater Phoenix area for more than 100 years, is closing its doors today.
The hospital, located on 16th Street and Van Buren, announced in October that it would close for good on November 24, according to a letter posted on the hospital's website.
Hospital President James Flinn said patient demand is low and the facility remains significantly underutilized.
The trend is clear, Flinn says in his letter, that many St. Luke's patients and community members have decided to go to other health care facilities for their medical needs.
"When hospital volumes decrease below critical levels, our ability to provide safe, high-quality care could be compromised," Flinn wrote.
The entire letter is below.
"To the Phoenix Community:
I want to share the news that St. Luke’s Medical Center will close on Sunday, November 24, 2019, due to many years of steady patient census decline.
Despite our best efforts and substantial investment in St. Luke’s, patient demand has stayed extremely low and our facility remains significantly underutilized.
Less than 4 percent of local residents receive inpatient discharges at St. Luke’s. On any given day, St. Luke’s has 70 patients in the hospital out of a total capacity of 219. To put it another way, each night, two out of three hospital beds are empty at St. Luke’s. Over the past two years, St. Luke’s occupancy rate has remained below 40 percent, and emergency department visits have decreased by 16 percent.
The trend is clear: many St. Luke’s patients and community members have decided to go to other health care facilities for their medical needs. When hospital volumes decrease below critical levels, our ability to provide safe, high-quality care could be compromised.
However, Steward is deeply committed to this community and to expanding our services as a leading accountable care organization. Patients continue to have access to excellent and high-quality care at other Steward Hospitals - Mountain Vista Medical Center, Tempe St. Luke’s, and our newly reopened Florence Hospital – where we will continue to grow our service lines and physician practices. Additionally, our Behavioral Health Center, the freestanding hospital on the St. Luke’s campus, will remain open and continue to operate as normal. Psychiatric services will remain a top service line focus at all Steward facilities in Arizona, given its importance to the community and Steward’s recognized excellence in this field.
Patient Care Specialists from Steward Health Care have begun contacting St. Luke’s patients to carefully transition those with scheduled procedures and ongoing treatments to one of our sister hospitals. Our specialists will also help to facilitate requests medical records and to ensure patients continue to receive the medical care and services they need, without interruption.
In addition to having access to other Steward Hospitals in the region, the Phoenix community continues to have access to a number of areas hospitals within a 10-mile radius of St. Luke’s.
St. Luke’s will stop taking ambulances and admissions in the Emergency Department as of November 23 at 1:01 AM. Therefore, St. Luke’s will transfer or discharge any inpatients remaining at the hospital by November 24th, 2019 to Tempe St. Luke’s or to Mountain Vista Medical Center.
Steward Health Care remains committed to our patients, and to ensuring St. Luke’s is closed through a safe and efficient process.
President, St. Luke’s Medical Center"
Patients can request their Medical Records by calling 480-784-5567 during normal business hours. Click here for additional information.