Then there was one
University of Cincinnati left alone as other Health Alliance members drop out
The remaining members of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati have reached a memorandum of understanding that leaves the University of Cincinnati as the alliance’s sole member and guides an orderly divvying up of shared assets.
With the resolution comes the completion of the previously announced sale of alliance member 209-bed Jewish Hospital, Cincinnati, to Mercy Health Partners, a southwest Ohio division of 32-hospital Catholic Healthcare Partners, also in Cincinnati.
The $180 million deal was delayed at the request of Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, who asked that the parties enter mediation to address the university’s concerns that a haphazard unraveling of the alliance could hobble 481-bed University Hospital’s ability to shoulder its safety net services. The parties now expect to sign a final settlement agreement by March 31.
The university and Jewish Hospital for 18 months would be jointly responsible for the Drake Center, the alliance’s rehabilitation hospital. The transition period, according to a news release, will allow the Drake Center’s board, administrators and local officials to devise a long-term plan for the facility, which is “mounting unsustainable losses that UC Health alone still could not support.” UC Health is the name adopted last year by the University of Cincinnati, University Hospital and University of Cincinnati Physicians after each of the other alliance members had made it clear they intended to drop out.
UC Health, under the agreement, will keep West Chester (Ohio) Medical Center, a hospital built by the alliance that opened last year, as well as the physician group Alliance Primary Care. The other withdrawing hospital, 187-bed Fort Hamilton Hospital in Hamilton, Ohio, in February announced plans to become part of Kettering Health Network, a system based in Dayton, Ohio.