By JEFF AMY
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Citing declining patient volumes and a need to save money, Mississippi's state Health Department is closing clinics in nine counties and reducing clinic hours to two or three days a week in many others.
The changes start Feb. 1, state Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier announced in a statement Wednesday. She says the number of patients treated in clinics has "seriously declined" because patients now have options to see other providers under Medicaid and the federal health care overhaul.
The Health Department will cut 64 employees and stop offering maternity care.
It wasn't immediately clear how much money the changes would save. The Health Department has been running a deficit this budget year.
Currier says the department wants to refocus efforts on preventing and managing chronic diseases such as diabetes.
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