Ohio hospital 'still in the black' despite service cut, COO says

Ravenna, Ohio, Mayor Frank Seman was concerned University Hospitals' Portage Medical Center might shut down after it announced it will end labor and delivery services in November. Bill Benoit, COO of Cleveland-based University Hospitals' South Market, assured him that is not the case, the Record-Courier reported Oct. 6. 

UH Portage Medical Center, the largest employer in Ravenna, handled 25 percent of births in its county, according to the newspaper. The hospital will continue to offer women's and children's services but will redirect deliveries to UH Geauga Medical Center. The newspaper said Portage was already a low-risk delivery site that frequently referred births elsewhere. 

Mr. Benoit told the mayor the medical center struggled to staff Portage because fewer physicians are choosing to go into obstetrics, according to the newspaper. Five area maternity wards have closed in recent years. 

Mr. Benoit told the mayor the hospital is "still in the black" and will expand other services despite cutting labor and delivery. However, he said Portage Medical Center is having trouble hiring and sourcing providers for services such as air quality maintenance, according to the newspaper.

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