HHS investigates Ohio hospital closure

Roughly 10 months after Dayton, Ohio-based Good Samaritan Hospital shut down, investigators from HHS' Office for Civil Rights are in Dayton, Ohio, to interview local residents who say they were harmed by the closure, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Dayton-based Premier Health announced plans in January 2018 to shut down Good Samaritan Hospital and closed the facility in July. The health system said operating two hospitals — Good Samaritan and Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton — within 5 miles of each other had become unsustainable.

A few months before the hospital closed, the Clergy Community Coalition filed a complaint with HHS' Office for Civil Rights claiming the closure of Good Samaritan would "have a discriminatory and separate adverse impact on African Americans and women."

Although the hospital closed, the investigation continues. Federal officials are interviewing local residents about the hospital closure this week. The Clergy Community Coalition is trying to arrange for about 140 people who claim they were harmed by the hospital shutdown to speak with investigators, according to the report.

In a statement to the Dayton Daily News, Premier Health said it is cooperating with the investigation.

"We do not believe that the allegations have merit, as Premier Health continues to be the largest provider of indigent services in our region and one of the largest providers of such services in the state of Ohio," Premier said.

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