West Virginia hospital CEO readies for 2 nearby hospital closures

As two hospitals in Ohio and West Virginia owned by Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services face impending closures, the CEO of a nearby hospital is considering expanding services to meet demand, according to MetroNews.

Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W.Va., and East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry announced Aug. 7 that the hospitals will close by October. Alecto Healthcare Services cited mounting financial losses and competitor Wheeling Hospital's alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law as reasons for the closures.

However, Doug Harrison, CEO of Wheeling Hospital, said the hospital will host a job fair and possibly expand services amid the planned closures. About 1,100 employees could be affected by the closures.

"Wheeling Hospital has no inpatient psychiatric beds and so we as a team are looking internally to see if we might be able to open some inpatient psychiatric beds as a short-term fix and then look at ways to partner with folks on the outpatient component," Mr. Harrison told MetroNews.

Wheeling Hospital may also create a couple urgent care centers to address expected increases in emergency room patients, according to the report.

Read the full report here.

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