HHS launches investigation into pending closure of Ohio hospital

Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, is set to close July 23, and HHS has launched an investigation into whether shutting down the hospital will have a disproportionate effect on African-American residents, according to lawyers representing a group of clergy who filed a civil rights complaint.

The West Dayton Clergy Community Coalition filed a complaint with HHS' Office of Civil Rights in May claiming the closure of Good Samaritan will "have a discriminatory and separate adverse impact on African Americans and women," according to the Dayton Daily News. The clergy are requesting Good Samaritan's parent company, Dayton-based Premier Health, keep the hospital open for the duration of the federal investigation.

In a statement issued July 16 to WYSO, Premier said it could not comment directly on HHS' investigation, but that the closure of Good Samaritan is moving forward as scheduled.

Premier has said operating two hospitals — Good Samaritan and Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton — within 5 miles of each other has become unsustainable, especially in a healthcare environment that is shifting to outpatient care.

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