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OhioHealth to add 12th hospital

Berger Health System, a single-hospital system based in Circleville, Ohio, will become OhioHealth's 12th member hospital this spring.

Under the lease agreement, Columbus-based OhioHealth will invest $46 million into Berger over five years. Those funds will be used for capital projects, assumption of outstanding debt, physician recruitment and employee investments, including education and training.

"The reality is smaller hospitals, particularly stand-alone ones, are experiencing lower inpatient volumes, more competition, less reimbursement, and overall less profitability," Berger Health System said in a press release. "The increasing pace and number of changes in the healthcare industry confirms the need to align."

The two healthcare organizations have an established relationship. Berger and OhioHealth began partnering in 2008, and they entered into an exclusive affiliation in 2015.

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