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Hospitals in Older Cities Close Down, Blacks Worst Affected

Riverview is a community hospita l in Detroit with 285 beds, specializing in general medical and surgical services, such as treatment of congestive heart failure, diabetes and obstetrics.

Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan in US Midwest, supposedly a prosperous region.

But Riverview is all set to close down.

The hospital last week said it was losing too much money and already stopped accepting inpatients, though the emergency room will remain open for now.

Because roughly 90 percent of its 11,000 annual inpatients are covered under the Medicare or Medicaid public assistance programs, Riverview has struggled economically, said Bob Hoban, a senior vice president for St. John Health, Riverview's parent company.

Riverview employs 1,511 workers at the hospital on East Jefferson, many of whom live in Detroit.

"Everybody is frustrated," said Dr. William Anderson, a Riverview surgeon. "They are despairing about their futures."

"Our psychiatric intervention program is swamped already," said Ben Carter, chief operating officer of the Detroit Medical Center, one of the health systems that would be most affected.

The Detroit area already has a shortage of mental health beds, and the 25 to 30 at the DMC's Detroit Receiving Hospital are "at full capacity," Carter said.

Both Detroit Receiving and Henry Ford hospitals have busy emergency departments that will be hard-pressed to treat all of Riverview's 30,000 annual emergency patients, officials with the two systems said.

The Ford system serves more than 90,000 emergency patients a year and is expanding because visits have grown 5% to 7% recently, officials said.

Detroit Receiving serves 85,000 emergency patients a year. And St. John Hospital and Medical Center, on Detroit's east border with Grosse Pointe Woods, serves 80,000 emergency patients.

Experts say River
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