Rochester-based Mayo Clinic said Monday that it hopes to boost efficiency by shifting most hospital services from its medical center in Albert Lea to the health system's neighboring hospital in Austin.

The changes will take place over several years at the two medical centers, which are located about 25 miles apart.

While most inpatient hospital services will be consolidated at the Austin campus, the facility in Albert Lea still will offer an emergency room and inpatient behavioral health care plus outpatient services.

"It's no longer feasible to duplicate some of our most complex and expensive health care services in neighboring communities," Dr. Bobbie Gostout, a Mayo Clinic vice president, said in a statement. "We are navigating challenging times in health care, so we are taking proactive steps to adjust the services offered on each campus."

Mandie Siems, a Mayo Clinic spokeswoman, said the hospital in Albert Lea is not closing.

Over the next few years, a number of services will move to the Austin campus, Siems said, including: surgeries requiring hospitalization; medical and pediatrics hospital stays, and intensive care hospital stays. In addition, labor and delivery will also move from Albert Lea to Austin.

All inpatient behavioral health and addiction recovery services will move to the Albert Lea campus, Siems said.

"Both the Albert Lea and Austin campus will continue to offer 95 percent of the services our patients use on a regular basis, including primary and specialty care, pregnancy care, outpatient surgeries and procedures, emergency room care, and services such as lab, radiology and pharmacy," she said via e-mail. "The Austin campus will house inpatient care (medical/surgical/pediatrics), ICU, inpatient surgeries and childbirth."

Across the country, a growing number of health systems have been consolidating services at nearby hospitals.

Last year, Minneapolis-based Allina Health System merged two acute care hospitals in Anoka County under one license in order to eliminate duplicate services at the nearby medical centers. Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and Unity Hospital in Fridley continued distinct operations, but the smaller medical center in Fridley took the name "Mercy Hospital — Unity Campus."

As part of the changes at the medical centers, Allina shifted maternity care to Mercy and consolidated mental health service at Unity.

Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744

Twitter: @chrissnowbeck