August 27, 2014

Medina
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Lodi hospital tied to Akron General, Clinic deal

Lodi Community Hospital is included in a pending sale of Akron General Health System to Cleveland Clinic and Community Health Systems Inc.

The Akron hospital group has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to negotiate a deal with the Clinic and Community Health Systems, based in Nashville, Tenn.

A special committee of the Akron General board has explored several possible merger options over the past several months, the release said.

Dr. Thomas Stover, Akron General Health System president and chief executive, said the proposal from Community Health Systems and the Clinic stood out because of the combined financial resources and medical expertise they offer.

“The high level of clinical care, operational experience, medical innovation, and best business practices brought together through this potential partnership will serve as a tremendous asset to our community, strengthening Akron General and ensuring our mission of service to the community for generations to come.”

The buyout is intended to provide Akron General with capital investments to improve facilities, technology and hospital services; provide better means to recruit new physicians; maintain the hospital’s charity care; and create a local governing board of trustees consisting of community leaders and members of the hospital’s medical staff.

Akron General Health System is among the region’s largest employers, with more than 5,000 workers across Akron General Medical Center, physician practices, Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates, Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service, Lodi Community Hospital, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, three health and wellness centers and other outpatient locations.

Earlier this year, Akron General laid off 132 employees — about 2.5 percent of its workforce — in the face of a $4.8 million loss on it 2012 revenues of $588 million.

“For Akron General, this partnership means access to tremendous resources as it continues to deliver on its mission of providing high-quality health care services to patients,” said Dr. Toby M. Cosgrove, chief executive officer and president of Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland; eight community hospitals, including Medina Hospital; 18 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio; Cleveland Clinic Florida; the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas; Cleveland Clinic Canada; and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which is under construction.

Including its subsidiaries, Community Health Systems owns, leases or operates 135 hospitals in 29 states and boasted 2012 revenues of $13 billion.

The three entities still must finalize negotiations and no actual numbers have been made available, though Akron General projects a deal could be concluded this year.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.