Tens of thousands of Buffalo-area patients must now make new arrangements for their health care. Lifetime Health Medical Group is announcing the shutdown of three local centers by the end of the year.
The company, in a written statement, says that ongoing problems filling primary care physician openings has adversely affected patient access which, in turn, has hurt the company financially.
The centers scheduled to close are located at 1185 Sweet Home in Amherst, 899 Main Street in Buffalo and 151 Elmview Avenue in Hamburg. The pharmacies at each location will close by October 25 and patient prescriptions will be transferred to Rite Aid Pharmacy. The clinics will be closed by December 31.
A portion of the company's statement forwarded to WBFO reads: "With the continued shortage of primary care physicians in Western New York, Lifetime Health has struggled to successfully fill physician gaps within its practices, resulting in patient access issues and contributing to challenges in maintaining our financial performance. Recognizing any further physician departures would jeopardize the group’s ability to meet the demand for patient care, Lifetime Health requested and received approval from the New York State Department of Health to close the centers."
The shutdowns will result in 202 layoffs and will affect 43,000 patients. A company spokesperson says letter were mailed to every patient on Monday but those seeking information in the meantime may visit Lifetime Health's website. They may also call their doctor's office.
"We are deeply sorry to make this change for both our employees and the patients we serve," the company states in its written release.