Saint Joseph Health Center, Kansas City, Mo., said it is closing its Level II trauma center today because of difficulty staffing physicians and reimbursement and malpractice issues. The 260-bed hospital, owned by Carondelet Health System, continues to operate a full-service emergency room. Saint Joseph officials said they are discussing the matter internally and with other area hospitals. In a written statement, the hospital said it didn't know when or if it would reopen the center. Meanwhile, physician investors announced plans to build a $9 million, 18-bed hospital in Wichita, Kan., with an adjacent medical office complex. The specialty hospital, scheduled to open in January 2004, would be Wichita's third. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Staffing, malpractice issues shut Mo. trauma center
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