Huron Hospital to end operations in 90 days - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Huron Hospital to end operations in 90 days

EAST CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Cleveland Clinic's Board of Directors announced Monday that it will end operations at Huron Hospital within 90 days. After an extensive evaluation of data and ongoing efforts to preserve the hospital, a special committee of Cleveland Clinic's Board of Directors and hospital leadership concluded that Huron Hospital is not sustainable for a long-term future.

Cleveland Clinic will continue to provide outpatient care at the hospital until the new Cleveland Clinic Huron Community Health Center opens Oct. 3 on the hospital's campus.

The Clinic released this statement on Tuesday:

Statement from Cleveland Clinic
June 7, 2011
"Our commitment to our patients in East Cleveland has not changed. We're transitioning the way we care for patients to better meet their healthcare needs. We are building a new Cleveland Clinic Huron Community Health Center that will focus on chronic diseases that are prevalent in this patient population. Inpatient care will be moved to Cleveland Clinic's main campus, 2.5 miles from Huron Hospital, or other hospitals within our system. Transportation will be provided for those patients who need it.
After efforts to preserve Huron Hospital over the years, multiple factors led to the difficult decision to end inpatient services there. A declining population, reduced usage of the hospital, and a shrinking need for inpatient services required us to evaluate the best way to provide high-quality care to our patients, while using our resources responsibly.
Further, with the formation of the Northern Ohio Trauma Service (NOTS), we firmly believe that a regionalized approach to trauma will improve care and access to our communities across Northeast Ohio.
We are planning to hold open forums to engage the community about the transition of the Hospital and about the new Cleveland Clinic Huron Community Center in the near future."  

This center is better designed to meet the community's changing health needs. Cleveland Clinic will offer round-trip transportation services from the Huron campus to Cleveland Clinic's main campus, as well as Euclid, South Pointe and Hillcrest hospitals. Cleveland Clinic will also provide ongoing communication to patients, and hold community information meetings on access to care in the future.

As one of Cleveland's first hospitals, Huron Hospital has a 137-year history of serving patients, educating physicians and driving innovation. Over the years, however, many factors negatively impacted this once-thriving hospital, including a steady decline in patient use, a rapidly shrinking population, costly maintenance of the hospital's aging facilities, and substantial fixed costs that were much higher than the hospital could maintain.

"This is a difficult day for Cleveland Clinic, but we are firmly committed to caring for this community and supporting our employees affected by this decision," said Delos M. Cosgrove, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Cleveland Clinic. "We are facing challenges in healthcare today never seen before, including a dramatic shift toward outpatient care, a difficult economy, a declining population, and the uncertainty of healthcare reform. These challenges require us to adapt to best meet the needs of our patients. Our investment in the new Huron Community Health Center and our work to regionalize trauma will allow us to have more of an impact on the community's health."

The new Cleveland Clinic Huron Community Health Center will continue Huron Hospital's dedication to preventive care and chronic disease management, which is a critical need in East Cleveland and its surrounding area. Due to Huron Hospital's successful chronic disease management practices, 37 percent of all hospitalized patients in 2009 had a first or secondary diagnosis of diabetes, down from a high of 57 percent five years earlier. It is one of 30 hospitals in the nation to receive certification from The Joint Commission as an inpatient diabetes center.

"Through better management of chronic disease and less dependence on emergency care and hospital stays, the East Cleveland community now has a greater need for a health center than a hospital. Today, healthcare is delivered largely on an outpatient basis. A community of this size – located within three miles of two major hospitals – can no longer sustain, nor is there a need for, its own hospital," said Gus Kious, M.D., President of Huron Hospital. "I have been humbled by the talented and caring group of individuals who have dedicated their careers to the residents of East Cleveland and the patients of Huron Hospital."

Cleveland Clinic is putting several initiatives into place:

  • Care will continue for East Cleveland and surrounding communities. Outpatient care will be offered at the new Cleveland Clinic Huron Community Health Center, which opens Oct. 3. For specialty care or hospitalization, patients are welcome at Cleveland Clinic's main campus, as well as Euclid, South Pointe and Hillcrest hospitals or elsewhere within the Cleveland Clinic health system.
  • Cleveland Clinic will provide direct, round-trip shuttle service from the Huron campus to main campus, Euclid, South Pointe and Hillcrest hospitals after the hospital closes.
  • Patients will get the care they need in the Cleveland Clinic health system and return to the Huron Community Health Center for continual care and follow-up close to home, which is made possible through a unified electronic medical record and care coordination in the Patient Navigation office.
  • Huron Hospital has approximately 850 employees and Cleveland Clinic plans to actively recruit them and offer job opportunities for everyone who wants to stay within the health system.

By working with colleagues in the Northern Ohio Trauma System (NOTS), the City of East Cleveland and the City of Cleveland Emergency Medical System (EMS), trauma care has been regionalized and is coordinated by MetroHealth. Trauma needs will continue to be met at the following hospitals: MetroHealth, a Level I Trauma Center; Cleveland Clinic's Fairview and Hillcrest hospitals, both Level II Trauma Centers; University Hospitals' Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center for children; and several Level III trauma centers throughout the area.

"Huron Hospital has given a diverse group of physicians, nurses and employees the opportunity to do great things, and what we've accomplished for a socioeconomically challenged patient population will be carried on," Dr. Kious said. "The dedication of our people has never wavered, but we can no longer stand up against external forces that will begin to challenge our ability to provide quality care."

Some of the key factors that led to the board's decision:

  • Only 17 percent of patients from Huron Hospital's primary market went to Huron for key inpatient services, including heart care, oncology and pulmonology, in the first half of 2010. The vast majority of patients (83 percent) are already choosing other hospitals, with the largest number (35 percent) going elsewhere in the Cleveland Clinic health system. Further, only 38 percent of East Cleveland patients use Huron Hospital for inpatient services. Declining patient volume creates potential challenges to maintaining quality and patient safety.
  • There's been a 10 percent decrease in discharges since 2003, and a 16 percent decrease in surgical procedures. Huron Hospital currently has less than 100 patients a day and less than 60 percent of the 185 staffed beds are occupied. The decline has accelerated this year with some units closed temporarily; on some days the hospital has held as few as 47 inpatients.
  •  The population in East Cleveland has declined 34 percent (from 27,217 to 17,843 residents) since 2000, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
  • Huron Hospital's facilities are aging and have required extensive resources over the years. The hospital has sustained continued financial losses and Cleveland Clinic anticipates losses at the new facility, as well.

Cleveland Clinic officials plan to reach out to City of East Cleveland officials in the near future to discuss transitional issues and to determine the future use of the property.

Cleveland's Huron Road Hospital was founded in 1856 and incorporated in 1874. It became a founding member of the Meridia Health System in 1984. In 1997, the Meridia Health System became part of the Cleveland Clinic health system.

Among its many accomplishments, Huron Hospital was the first community hospital in the Cleveland Clinic health system to fully implement electronic medical records. Huron Hospital has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for success in saving lives by increasing organ donation rates.

Cleveland Clinic is Northeast Ohio's largest employer supporting more than 58,000 households. It's the second largest employer in the state, supporting more than 81,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ohio in 2009, generating more than $3.9 billion in total earnings.

Cleveland Clinic spurred nearly $10.5 billion of the total economic activity in Ohio in 2009. Its community benefit contribution in 2010 totaled $537.4 million, including $149.8 million in charity care.

Huron Hospital patients can get more information at 216-761-2955. Information also is available at www.huronhospital.org.

Statement from Mayor Jackson on closure of Huron Hospital:

The issues associated with a lack of a level two trauma center on the Eastside are real and remain unresolved. The closure of the hospital and its emergency room exacerbates the problem. In fact, during the discussion regarding the level two trauma center, the Cleveland Clinic repeatedly pointed to the existing emergency department as a necessary component of the overall trauma care in the region. Should the closure stand, not only would we be faced with where to send 800 trauma patients, we would face the additional dilemma of where to send 2,200 other emergency patients.

• The Division of EMS transported over 3,000 total patients to the Emergency Department at Huron Hospital in 2010, 800 of whom were trauma victims. Those 3,000 ambulance transports will now have to be diverted to other hospitals.

• The shift of patients to University Hospitals and the Main Campus of the Cleveland Clinic will result in longer ambulance turn around times which means longer overall response times to all 9-1-1 calls. The other hospital transport options to Euclid or South Pointe Hospitals take the ambulances out of their response areas, creating additional delays in responding to 9-1-1 calls.

• The loss of another primary care hospital diminishes our ability to manage mass casualty incidents.

The Cleveland Clinic has left the City with little choice but to resume legal action in an effort to protect the public health and safety interest of our community. We, along with the City of East Cleveland, will begin reaching out to all affected parties to determine next steps.

- In accordance with the settlement agreement between the Cleveland Clinic and the Cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, we have been engaged in what we believed to have been good faith negotiations regarding the ramifications of the closing of a level two trauma center at Huron Hospital. At no time did the Cleveland Clinic disclose their intent to close the entire hospital. In fact, when asked directly about the future of Huron Hospital, Clinic Officials stated that there was no intention to close the emergency room, let alone the entire facility.

Residents in Cleveland's eastern communities took comfort in knowing the difference between life and death was only minutes away, after an announcement today by the Cleveland Clinic to close the entire Hospital facility in East Cleveland will put Clevelander's lives in jeopardy.
This comes after the clinic told council and the mayor last fall they would work to keep the trauma center open, and the hospital, open to serve Cleveland's east side, the City of East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights.
This city always stood behind the Clinic to help them expand and grow. Every time they came in front of city council asking for assistance, we were there to help them. And now, we are seeing this institution turn its back on those most in need within our community. They mislead the council, deceived the mayor and all of Greater Cleveland.
The Cleveland Clinic prides itself on offering world class medical services, however, when it comes to
Cleveland's east side, they do not find it necessary to offer special emergency medical care to those in most need. Just last year, over 3,000 transports by Cleveland EMS were made to Huron Road Hospital, with 800 of those being for vital trauma care.
Residents living in some of Northeast Ohio's most affluent suburbs are benefiting from the Clinic's consolidation and disinvestment while Cleveland's eastern most neighborhoods and older, inner-ring suburban neighborhoods pay a steep price.
The clinic has a moral and ethical responsibility to serve all of the community, and I challenge Cleveland Clinic to remember who was there when they needed help and not to turn their backs on our most needy residents and their families. I call upon our local Congressional representatives to weigh in on this matter for the clock is ticking.

MetroHealth released this statement concerning the closing:

While healthcare delivery is changing, a reduction in access to healthcare for residents of any local community - particularly an economically disadvantaged one - is troubling. MetroHealth has taken steps in recent years to increase access to care for all patients and will continue to do so. We want to assure the community of our ongoing commitment to provide care for all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
MetroHealth has been in ongoing discussions with other providers and emergency responders about our region's trauma needs. As part of Northern Ohio Trauma System, MetroHealth is leading the effort to determine clinical protocols for trauma patients and develop a regional system of trauma care.
We stand ready to work with our county and city leaders to meet our community's need for quality healthcare.

Councilman Michael D. Polensek statement on Cleveland Clinic's decision to close Huron Road Hospital:

Residents in Cleveland's eastern communities took comfort in knowing the difference between life and death was only minutes away, after an announcement today by the Cleveland Clinic to close the entire Hospital facility in East Cleveland will put Clevelander's lives in jeopardy.
This comes after the clinic told council and the mayor last fall they would work to keep the trauma center open, and the hospital, open to serve Cleveland's east side, the City of East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights.
This city always stood behind the Clinic to help them expand and grow. Every time they came in front of city council asking for assistance, we were there to help them. And now, we are seeing this institution turn its back on those most in need within our community. They mislead the council, deceived the mayor and all of Greater Cleveland.
The Cleveland Clinic prides itself on offering world class medical services, however, when it comes to
Cleveland's east side, they do not find it necessary to offer special emergency medical care to those in most need. Just last year, over 3,000 transports by Cleveland EMS were made to Huron Road Hospital, with 800 of those being for vital trauma care.
Residents living in some of Northeast Ohio's most affluent suburbs are benefiting from the Clinic's consolidation and disinvestment while Cleveland's eastern most neighborhoods and older, inner-ring suburban neighborhoods pay a steep price.
The clinic has a moral and ethical responsibility to serve all of the community, and I challenge Cleveland Clinic to remember who was there when they needed help and not to turn their backs on our most needy residents and their families. I call upon our local Congressional representatives to weigh in on this matter for the clock is ticking.

 

State Rep. Sandra Williams Calls on Cleveland Clinic to Keep Huron Hospital Open:

State Rep. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) called on the Cleveland Clinic to keep Huron Hospital open. She points to the serious social and economic impact the decision to close the facility will have on the neighborhood and its residents. The Clinic announced today that it plans to close the hospital within 90 days.
"Closing Huron Hospital would unjustly harm the surrounding community and restrict healthcare access to the residents who need emergency services," said Rep. Williams. "This decision to close will also affect the economic condition of the east Cleveland community, in a time when great strides have been made to improve the area. I would like the Cleveland Clinic to reconsider its decision."
The Clinic previously announced the closure of the Huron Hospital Trauma Center in October of 2010; however that closure was delayed due to public outcry. The Clinic cited the inability to attract doctors to the location and population loss as factors for the closure.
"Huron Hospital's trauma and emergency department, in addition to other services are vital to the surrounding community who may not have the ability to travel further for care. Comprising service in favor of profit is a disservice for our most vulnerable citizens," Rep. Williams added. "The factors cited for closing further demonstrates the need for incentives to attract quality medical personnel to work in the inner cities, where the need is great."
As one of Cleveland's first hospitals, Huron Hospital has a 137-year history of serving patients, educating physicians and driving innovation.

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