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Hospitals in Older Cities Close Down, Blacks Worst Affected

spitals averaged 92 cents for every dollar spent providing care in 2005, the most recent figures available, according to the American Hospital Association. Medicaid's reimbursement rate was lower, at 87 cents per dollar.

Officials at other area hospitals have complained that Riverview's closing will burden them.

"We're 90 percent full on average and there are many days where we're 100 percent full," said Nancy Schlichting, president and chief executive of Henry Ford Health System, which has a trauma center hospital in Detroit.

Karmanos Cancer Institute plans to spend $20 million to renovate the 20-year-old Riverview and reopen it as a clinical center next year.

While waiting for a bus after a physical therapy appointment, Mary Sanders said Riverview is the closest hospital for residents of the east side, including many disabled senior citizens.

The 54-year resident of the neighborhood said she doesn't know where she'll go once the clinic closes.

There are hundreds like her, but nobody seems to heed their desperate pleas for keeping the hospital open.


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