Mayo Clinic Health Systems will be closing its clinics in Madelia and Lake Crystal after receiving notice from Madelia Community Hospital that the leases for the clinics will not be renewed.

The clinics are at the Madelia hospital and a building the hospital owns in Lake Crystal. Both clinics will be vacated by Mayo by Oct. 31.

The hospital’s board of directors decided to end its leases with Mayo Clinic Health Systems because of concerns about medical services that were being moved to other locations, said Candace Fenske, Madelia Community Hospital administrator. Some of the services she cited were radiology, orthopedics and lab services.

“Surgeries we could do here were leaving,” Fenske said. “We know our limits, but we also know what we are able to do.

“Our board of directors was responding to services leaving the community and responding to the needs of the patients and their response to what was happening.”

The hospital plans to open its own clinics, which will provide what Fenske described as “rural, independent, community-based care.” That focus also will improve the hospital’s ability to provide end-of-life and home health care services, she said.

Mayo Clinic Health System representatives worked with the hospital in an attempt continue the leases, which have been in place for more than a decade, said Dr. Greg Kutcher, president and chief executive officer of the health system’s facilities in the Mankato region. He said the decision by the Madelia hospital’s board of directors to end the leases resulted from a differing view on how to provide services.

“It’s certainly a different organization with different visions on how to provide health care,” Kutcher said. “Health care has changed dramatically in the last several years. We want to provide high quality services with lower costs. Our philosophy is to do it as a region.”

Health care is more complicated now than it has been in the past, Kutcher said. More patients in need of intensive medical care have multiple illnesses that are best served at a single site. About 10 percent of the population is using most of the medical resources, he said.

Also, technological advances for treating emergencies, such as a heart attack, require equipment that, financially, can’t be maintained at every hospital in the region, Kutcher added. A regional focus provides better services while keeping costs down, he said.

Health care providers working at the Madelia and Lake Crystal clinics are being offered employment by the hospital and Mayo.

“We’re going to be setting up our own clinics and we’ve invited the present providers to be a part of what we’re doing,” Fenske said. “If that’s not going to be feasible, or if they want to stay with Mayo Clinic Health System, then we’ll hire new staff. We’re not doing this alone. We’re also talking with the Mankato Clinic to help us with recruiting.

“The main thing is rural, relationship-based health care. That’s the most important aspect of why we are doing this.”

Mayo Clinic Health System also will maintain its presence in Watonwan County, although patients in Madelia might be required to travel for those services, Kutcher said. All staff currently working at the Madelia and Lake Crystal clinics are also being given the opportunity to stay with Mayo, which is looking at expanding services in Lake Crystal and St. James.

The details are being worked out, but the staff that stays will be part of the planning process, Kutcher said.

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