Shriners Hospital-Twin Cities could eliminate inpatient care

- Shriners Hospitals-Twin Cities has been an institution in Minnesota for nearly a century, but it could exist in a much different form in the future.

For years, Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis has been a haven for children with muscle, bone and joint conditions where they can be treated regardless of their family's ability to pay.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the hospital is "evaluating alternative options for inpatient care,” but "the details or dates of any service change are not yet determined." The spokesperson said one possibility could be eliminating inpatient care altogether. 

Shriners-Twin Cities treats about 6,500 patients a year. There's no word on how these changes would affect the hospital's 150 employees. There are 22 Shriners Hospitals around the country. The next closest one would be in Chicago or St. Louis.

The hospital spokesperson said the move is "in recognition of the nationwide trend to more outpatient-oriented services while the need for overnight (inpatient) care declines."

According to Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, nationwide there were 37.5 million inpatient stays in 2005, but that number dropped to 35.4 million in 2014. It’s a drop, but just a 6.6 percent dip over a decade.

The spokesperson told Fox 9 there is no timeline when a decision will be made.

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