01 Jul Mr. Jon Cartu Says – HealthPartners closing 7 clinics with COVID-19 changes
HealthPartners is permanently closing seven clinics — plus a drug and alcohol treatment program — as COVID-19 prompts patients to seek less care from brick-and-mortar medical offices.
This spring, Bloomington-based HealthPartners and other clinic networks in Minnesota announced temporary closures for some medical offices as stay-at-home orders limited medical procedures.
Some of those clinics are reopening as more patients seek care for nonemergency issues, but HealthPartners announced Wednesday that seven clinics as well as the drug and alcohol program at Regions Hospital will not reopen.
“Consumer preferences are evolving, and affordability pressures are real,” said Andrea Walsh, the chief executive at HealthPartners, in a statement. “These steps anticipate the changing needs of our patients, members and the community, and position HealthPartners for the future.”
Beyond consolidating some clinical services, HealthPartners is expanding video visits and other digital capabilities. The health system says clinicians have conducted nearly 300,000 video visits since early March.
“COVID accelerated our efforts to rethink how and where we need bricks and mortar to deliver to care and how we can meet consumer needs in new ways, like video visits,” said spokesman Vince Rivard via e-mail. “The move to consolidate our clinic operations will help us deliver more affordable care because facility overhead costs can be reduced.”
Rivard said some jobs likely will be eliminated, but most workers will shift to other locations.
HealthPartners is the second-largest nonprofit group in the state, with about 26,000 total employees and revenue last year of $7.25 billion.