Ohio county sues hospital board, wants out of deal with OhioHealth

Morrow County is suing the governing board of its county-owned hospital, alleging leaders held secret meetings and entered into unlawful agreements with OhioHealth, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The county is suing the Morrow County (Ohio) Hospital board in an attempt to terminate its agreement with Columbus-based OhioHealth and field better offers.

The hospital board signed a deal with OhioHealth last June. Under the agreement OhioHealth acquired five physician practices from Morrow County Hospital and is allowed to end inpatient care there if losses are sustained.

County leaders said that the hospital had another offer from Galion, Ohio-based Avita Health Systems before the board decided to sign with OhioHealth. Avita had offered $5 million to the hospital, the elimination of taxpayer subsidies and an increase in services.

The hospital board made "the irresponsible choice" and "allowed itself to be captured by OhioHealth, the same organization responsible for millions [of dollars] in Morrow County Hospital losses," the lawsuit reads, according to the Dispatch.

The lawsuit also accuses the board of violating Ohio's open meetings law, which requires public bodies in Ohio to conduct all public business in meetings that others may attend and observe. The board allegedly held more than 20 secret meetings, according to the Morrow County Sentinel.

"For the benefit of Morrow County, Ohio citizens, and as required by law, the unlawful agreements between the hospital board and OhioHealth must be undone," the lawsuit reads.

Morrow County Hospital has been operating at a loss, despite a $1.4 million countywide property tax levy and a growing need for hospital services, according to the Dispatch.

Board attorney Jon A. Christensen told the Sentinel: "I can assure you that the board will respond through the court system in a timely manner and vigorously defend the actions it has taken and whatever actions it hasn’t taken that are in the complaint."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars