Offers Survival Plan to Local Hospital
Anxiety has mounted over the last few months as the possibility
that the Oberlin Medical Center (OMC) might have to close its doors
seemed increasingly likely.
Quick action by the College may yet rescue the 94-year-old facility
from its demise. The College has offered $2 million to buy the land
on which the hospital stands, and would lease it to the Center for
$1 a year in perpetuity. Title to the land, held by the City of Oberlin,
must be transferred to OMC before the transaction can take place.
The College's acquisition of the property assures the integrity of
the campus by protecting a portion of its west boundary.
As final arrangements are made, Community Health Partners is developing
a business plan to ensure continued operation. CHP will become an
operating partner. OMC has lost millions of dollars in recent years
because of lack of access to insurance contracts and reduced reimbursement
for Medicare patients. Too few overnight patients is another cause
of the downward spiral. Under the new partnership, principals believe
that the financial deficit could turn around in two years or less.
The College owned the hospital property 30 years ago, but donated
it to the City so that the hospital could be eligible for public bonds.
If all parties are in agreement, the lease agreement with Community
Health Partners would remain in effect as long as the property is
used as hospital.
If Oberlin's hospital were to close, residents and students would
have to travel to Elyria, 11 miles away, for the nearest hospital.
Keeping local health care in Oberlin is a prime concern of all parties.