Three doctors released from contracts after Boulder Community Health closes Lafayette emergency department during coronavirus pandemic


Three emergency physicians were released from their contracts after Boulder Community Health closed the Community Medical Center’s emergency department in Lafayette to consolidate resources at its Foothills location.

The closure will be in place for at least 90 days as the health system prepares for a possible influx of patients due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Boulder Community Health’s highest priority is to do everything we can to maintain the safety of our patients, staff and the overall community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote spokesman Rich Sheehan in an email to the Camera. “This includes modifying our services to maximize the impact of our medical resources. BCH determined that it was prudent to centralize our emergency medicine resources at our busiest location, Foothills Hospital, which had been seeing and would continue to see the majority of people experiencing respiratory illnesses, both flu and COVID-19.”

While the majority of staff and equipment were transferred to the Foothills location, Sheehan said Boulder Community Health does not directly employ emergency medicine physicians, instead contracting with an independent medical group.

While some of the emergency doctors at the Lafayette facility also worked at Foothills and will continue to do so, Sheehan said three who were only working at the Community Medical Center were released from their contracts by the independent medical group due to a drop in emergency department visits to both the Lafayette and Boulder locations.

Sheehan said it is likely the three doctors will be brought back once the Community Medical Center is reopened or could also be signed earlier to work at the Foothills location if additional resources are needed to combat COVID-19.

Boulder Community Health will evaluate the closure of the Community Medical Center’s emergency department after 90 days.