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Ohio mayor seeks alternatives to hospital outside ownership

The mayor of Akron has called for the merger of his city's two main hospitals, Akron General Medical Center and Summa Akron City Hospital, in a measure he feels would hold off the need for outside ownership of the facilities and eliminate the duplication of costs. Don Plusquellic made his plea during his State of the City address.

Recently, Summa entered a deal that gives an auxiliary of Cincinnati's Catholic Health Partners a minority ownership interest. Akron General is now in the hunt to find a larger partner as well. A Summa spokesperson said that before it entered the deal with Catholic Health Partners, it had approached Akron General about a possible combination, but it was determined that the two business models would not mesh.

A spokesperson for Akron General said that the competition creates choices in healthcare for consumers. Mayor Plusquellic said that every time the issue of a combination is discussed, the desire for competition seems to overwhelm every other aspect of the consideration. The mayor suggested that if the facilities could not come together, the community should form a board to assure collaboration between the hospitals.

The two Akron hospitals have determined they have a need to seek financing from sources outside of the city. The mayor is concerned about outside ownership influencing operational decisions that the hospitals will make. Every business, during startup and as it grows, needs to make business financing decisions concerning how to best fund operations. There are a variety of financing structures and vehicles that an attorney experienced in business transactions can outline.

Source: Ohio.com, "Akron mayor wants Akron General, Summa to merge", Cheryl Powell, April 02, 2014

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