Lake Placid emergency room cuts hours - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Lake Placid emergency room cuts hours

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Starting in June, if you live in the Lake Placid area and need to visit the emergency room in the middle of the night, get ready to travel.

"Saranac Lake is only about 10 miles away, but if someone's in pain that's a ways to go," said Phyllis Honigmann of Lake Placid.

Honigmann is concerned about the new hours at the Lake Placid ER.

"First 15-hour ER in New York State," said Joe Riccio of Adirondack Health.

The new hours take effect June 16. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Hospital officials say the reason for the change is because the hospital saw a decrease in patients. It lost nearly $1.5 million in the last two years.

"We were seeing about 22 percent fewer patients at the Lake Placid ER since 2009," Riccio said.

With the new hours, the hospital estimates it will save $600,000 a year, and no jobs will be lost in this transition. Adirondack Health officials say another reason for the limited hours is due to the health care field changing. They say as medical science improves, there's less need for patients to visit the emergency room.

"Change can be scary but we do remain committed to provide quality health care to the residents and visitors of the Adirondack region," Riccio said.

Of course, emergencies can happen at any time. Those in the Lake Placid area who need urgent care during the hours the Lake Placid ER is closed will be transported to the ER in Saranac Lake. That hospital is about 10 miles from Lake Placid.

But Honigmann, who owns a business in Lake Placid, says she wishes the ER would stay open overnight.

"It's convenient if an employee cuts himself to be able to take them here instead of driving them to Saranac Lake," she said.

But Adirondack Health officials say the change in hours at the Lake Placid ER will not change the quality of care. And the hospital promises to serve the needs of the community.

Adirondack Health says no jobs were lost in this transition. And the Lake Placid ER will have 24-hour service for special events, like athletic training.

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