Group Health Northwest, the Spokane-based health maintenance organization, plans to close its 22-year-old Maple Street clinic by this fall, which would be the second facility it has closed here this year.
Theres a lot of history there, because the 22,000-square-foot facility, at 3919 N. Maple, was Group Healths first health-care center, but the complex is showing its age, says Maureen Goins, a Group Health spokeswoman. It was never intended to be as large as it is, and has been expanded a number of times.
Since Group Health has five other facilities around the Spokane area, four of which were built within the last six years and all of which can accommodate additional patients, it decided to close the Maple Street center rather than upgrade it, Goins says.
The HMO will seek to move as many of the physicians and support staff there to other facilities as it can, she says. The patients, were hoping, will make that move, too, she says.
Fifty-eight people are employed at the center, including 11 providers (physicians, physicians assistants, and midwives) and 47 support staff members, Goins says. About possible layoffs, she says, There will be some people who are affected. We just dont how many yet.
The Maple Street center serves about 8,000 members. Those members likely will find it most convenient to transfer either to the Lidgerwood Health Care Center, at 6002 N. Lidgerwood, or the Riverfront Medical Center, at 322 W. North River Drive, Goins says. Group Health hasnt decided yet what it will do with the Maple Street property.
In another cost-cutting measure, Group Health earlier this year closed its Valley Health Care Center, 9227 E. Main, and moved physicians and staff from that facility to its newer Veradale Health Care Center, at 14402 E. Sprague.
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