News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Health and Medicine


Akron General may go for-profit in a deal with the Cleveland Clinic and CHS
Majority owner would be for-profit Community Health Systems of Nashville
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Akron General will become a for-profit hospital under a deal with the Cleveland Clinic and Community Health Systems.
Courtesy of AKRON GENERAL
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The board of Akron General Health Systems approved a letter of intent yesterday (Thursday) for to hold talks that could turn it into a for-profit company. The Nashville-based  chain, Community Health Systems, and its new partner, Cleveland Clinic, purchased Akron General for an undisclosed sum. It’s a three-way collaboration, but officials say the hospital will maintain its local board. 
LISTEN: Stover and Huston discuss the partnership

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:44)


Akron General is a pretty big operation with its medical center, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, Lodi Community Hospital and wellness centers.

But it could never achieve the purchasing power of Community Health Systems, which runs 150 hospitals.  The chief strategy officer for the Cleveland Clinic, Ann Huston, says the move will cut costs.

“When you have that much scale you’re able to operate a lower unit cost.”

Add to the Nashville chain's size,  the expertise of Cleveland Clinic, and the president of Akron General, Tim Stover, calls the new partnership a “home-run.”  A specific deal is expected to be worked out by early 2014.

Akron General and the Clinic are relatively close, but Stover says no one is cutting back service.

“The goal of this whole relationship  is about growth. It’s not about cutting. ... We’re going to continue to offer the services that we’re offering.The good news is we’ll be able to offer them with more resources and more expertise if we need it.”

Questions about Medicare
But the alliance does come with some baggage.  Federal investigators have been investigating CHS's Medicare billing and admission procedures since 2011. In July, the company disclosed that the feds had expanded their investigation. Stover says the Akron community should not be concerned.

“We looked into that, both we and the Clinic, and this was actually related to a Medicare issue in 2010 when there was a confusion between observation and in-patient. Actually that was a confusion all over the country.”

Akron’s biggest healthcare system, Summa, is awaiting a new partnership deal with the non-profit Catholic Health Partners. Hospitals have been concerned about changes coming with the Affordable Care Act. 

More consolidation is coming
“The change I’ve seen over the last 18-24 months, I’ve never seen it like this in the 33 years I’ve been practicing,” says Stover.

Huston says the level of consolidation in health care at unprecedented levels.

“And this is an example of a creative way for each of us to pool our resources and do what we do best to continue to provide services to a community.”

Stover says it’s still uncertain what Obamacare will bring but he does know being more efficient is a must.

“The reimbursement for the same things that we are doing now will be significantly less ... as far as the governmental payers are concerned, Medicare and Medicare, and the commercial payers are following right along.”

In turning for-profit, Akron General will be required to establish a community foundation. Stover wasn’t sure what how much will go into funding that, but he noted one more added value to the community:  the new status means the Akron General system will have to start paying taxes.  

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Akron's Chapel Hill Mall in foreclosure
Not a surprise. Between the shoplifting, gangs and violence that goes on up there it is no wonder that no one feels safe to shop at Chapel Hill. They have sca...

Ohio launches investigation into at least one Concept charter school
I worked at Noble Academy Cleveland as admin assistant and enrolment coordinator for 6 years, I know this is so valid and true and can provide staff names and p...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University