- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

SALEM, Mass. (AP) - A Salem rehabilitation hospital that can trace its roots in the city to the 18th century is closing its doors in September.

Spaulding Hospital officials tell The Salem News (https://bit.ly/1H3Yrak ) that upcoming changes in federal regulations designed to cut Medicare costs will lead to dramatic reductions in the types of patients Spaulding will be allowed to admit.

The closing will affect 320 workers, although the exact number of layoffs has yet to be determined.

A union official called the announcement a “devastating blow” to employees, some of whom have worked at Spaulding for decades.

Spaulding is a 160-bed hospital for patients with long-term recoveries.

David Storto, president of Partners Continuing Care, which oversees Spaulding, said the average inpatient occupancy rate has already declined from 70 percent to 48 percent.

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Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News, https://www.salemnews.com

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