Commissioners seeking hospital options

Proposals sought from 8 health care providers

By Alberta Stojkovic - The Sentinel

MOUNT GILEAD — During their regular session May 20, Morrow County Commissioners took action to extend the date to July 8, 2019, when health care systems can send their proposals for the lease, lease/purchase of Morrow County Hospital.

The deadline was extended due to requests for more time from interested systems.

Eight Ohio health care system providers and their administrators received Request For Proposal (RFP) from the commissioners, which were sent out April 24. Health care systems receiving the request include: OhioHealth, Avita Health System, Blanchard Valley Health Care System, Cleveland Clinic, Knox Community Hospital, Mount Carmel Health System, The Ohio State University Medical Center and Tri-Health.

Commissioners named their effort “Project Morrow.” The purpose of the request, commissioners stated was that they would “like to see improved and expanded health care services for Morrow County.” They asked for business proposals from those health organizations.

Commissioner Tom Whiston said that only 15 percent of health care needs of Morrow County residents are presently being taken care of in Morrow County. The Morrow County Hospital board’s consultant ECG Management stated 80 percent of residents in the county currently seek hospital care outside the county.

Specific proposals requested in the letter are: proposed full lease term in years, proposed capital investment over lease term, proposed annual lease/full lease term amount, if lease purchase, include full purchase price and committed hiring levels of hospital staff to be made over lease term, including committed level of Morrow County residents to hire for that staffing.

Specific qualifications were also made for the process, documents and evaluation criteria.

The request also asked health systems to detail experience of updating existing older hospital facilities to modern facilities along with amounts invested. The letter asked for examples of work health systems had done in improving other facilities.

Some health care services commissioners suggested might be expanded in Morrow County were: OB/GYN, pediatrics, oncology, neurology, geriatrics, urology internal medicine, orthopedics, EENT, sports medicine, wellness services, Coumadin clinic, radiology, lab and pharmacy.

Other areas for improvement named include: maintaining ICU, step down and general admission in-patient services for Morrow County residents. Other priorities named are expansion of physician base as well as expanding urgent care.

At the May 13 Commissioners meeting, Auditor Pat Davies said the question of health care in Morrow County is really a development issue. She said there is value in competition and bringing in more alternatives to the present health care options in the county.

“The Morrow County Hospital is owned by the county and the hospital’s financial status impacts the county’s bond ratings and financials,” Davis said.

Morrow County Development Director Andy Ware said it is the intention of the commissioners to be completely transparent in communicating information about questions received about the RFPs.

A complete transcript of the Request For Proposal is posted on the Commissioners website at Go to Administration, Commissioners and click on Home for the full transcript.

Proposals sought from 8 health care providers

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel