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University Hospitals announces deal with Portage County's Robinson Memorial

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University Hospitals plans to fold Portage County's Robinson Memorial Hospital, about 35 miles southeast of Cleveland, into its expanding footprint. ideastream health reporter Sarah Jane Tribble reports.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 11:50 am

The 117-bed Robinson Memorial is the only hospital in Portage County. Its network includes a hospital, an urgent care facility and outpatient centers with physician practices.

University Hospital's Chief Executive Tom Zenty says the opportunity to merge with Robinson comes as community hospitalsstruggle to cope with a changing health care landscape. The smaller hospital put out a request last year for a buyer.

ZENTY: It's very difficult for free-standing, independent hospitals to remain both free-standing and independent. The costs that go along with running a hospital have been increasing rather significantly over the years...

Large hospital systems can negotiate better pricing agreements for supplies and equipment throughout their networks, Zenty says. They can also help attract physicians to smaller communities. And when necessary, patients can come to Cleveland for specialty care.

This is the third deal UH has announced with a community hospital in the past year. Last month, UH announced it had won regulatory approval to complete previously announced mergers with Parma Community General Hospital and Elyria's EMH Healthcare.

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