Pennsylvania holds up Philadelphia hospital’s closing plan

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Dr. Angela Silverman makes a placard before joining a demonstration against the planned closure of Hahnemann University Hospital, at City Hall in Philadelphia, Thursday, June 27, 2019. The owner of hospital has announced it will close in September because of what the company calls “continuing, unsustainable financial losses.”(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania health officials have ordered a Philadelphia hospital to halt plans to take its first steps toward closing ahead of the busy July Fourth holiday.

The Health Department told the owners of Hahnemann University Hospital on Thursday that they must first file a detailed plan that ensures the safety of people who depend on the institution for care.

The 496-bed hospital announced Wednesday it would close in September due to unsustainable financial losses.

The hospital had said it planned to start diverting trauma cases from its emergency room Monday.

The state says it’s since been told that even more ER patients could possibly be diverted. It ordered the hospital to cease and desist from any steps toward shutting down until a plan is approved.

Health officials say they worried about what impact even a partial closure could have on residents and tourists during the holiday.

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