OUR VIEW: Partnering with University Hospitals solid move for RMH

link to Cleveland hospital will enable RMH opportunity to grow

Published:

Although nothing is expected to be finalized until late May, Robinson Memorial Hospital, in negotiating with University Hospitals to become a full partner, has chosen a hospital known for its excellence and for working well with community hospitals that have already elected to become its partners.

That is good news for so many residents of Portage County who depend on Robinson Memorial Hospital for their health care needs. In an era when the independence of very fine community hospitals may be imperiled, partnership with University Hospitals appears to offer Robinson a good opportunity to not only to survive, but to continue to flourish as the most important health care provider of Portage County.

University Hospitals has the clout and prestige necessary for attracting primary care physicians to Portage County, who in turn, will recommend Robinson for acute health care needs. A highly respected provider of tertiary medicine that deals with the most sophisticated kinds of medical problems, University Hospitals will provide Robinson with a solid option when referrals because of tertiary medicine are needed. It can mean instant access, when necessary, to the Seidman Cancer Center, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, the MacDonald Women's Hospital and the Case Medical Center.

The new partnership would see Robinson joining an impressive network of other community hospitals partnering with University Hospitals. These are the Ahuja Medical Center, Bedford Medical Center, Conneaut Medical Center, Elyria Medical Center, Geauga Medical Center, Geneva Medical Center, Parma Medical Center and Richmond Medical Center.

This network and other commitments like the outpatient center University Hospitals has planned for Fairlawn, announced just this week, indicate a commitment to Northeastern Ohio that is unequaled by any other hospital system in the region, including even the Cleveland Clinic.

The potential benefits of partnering became evident when Robinson entered into an agreement several years ago with Summa Health System, which enabled Robinson to reduce costs and be more competitive. Although that partnership agreement expired at the end of 2013, Robinson will retain its agreement with Summa to use their commercial and Medicare products.

Although there appear to be many details to iron out yet, Robinson appears to be on the right track in selecting a partner that can enable it to remain competitive and a dependable answer for the health care needs of the people of Portage County.

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