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Details Emerge on Asante Health, Ashland Hospital Merger in Oregon

A decision is expected Tuesday from the Ashland (Ore.) City Council on whether to approve a letter of intent to merge Ashland Community Hospital with Medford, Ore.-based Asante Health System, according to a report by the Ashland Daily Tidings.

If approved, the city-owned hospital will work to create a definitive agreement within two to three months, according to the report.

Among the terms of the agreement would be $10 million in capital improvements from Asante. Asante would also be required to run the hospital as a general hospital for a set number of years or pay a fine between $4 million and $8 million. Asante would be expected to attempt to employ all current hospital employees, if possible, but would not need to guarantee employing all of them as part of the agreement, according to the report.

Ashland Community Hospital lost $2.5 million last fiscal year due to a high Medicare and Medicaid payor mix and uncompensated care. Previous merger talks with San Francisco-based Dignity Health failed after the public decried would-be restrictions on contraception and end-of-life services, according to the report.

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