LANCASTER, Wis.-Lancaster's city-owned hospital is close to becoming a private, not-for-profit corporation after two years of effort. As of early January, only one step-filing documents with the Internal Revenue Service-remained for 31-bed Lancaster Memorial Hospital, and its conversion is expected to be completed shortly. Lancaster is in southwestern Wisconsin, about 20 miles from the Wisconsin-Iowa border. The hospital is exploring various partnerships with nearby facilities in Dodgeville, Wis., and Platteville, Wis., as well as with providers in Dubuque, Iowa, hospital administrator Gregg Patten said. At least two other city-owned hospitals have undergone similar conversions in the past year to facilitate network arrangements (Feb. 27, 1995, p. 46). In Lancaster, the city will retain deeds to the hospital, valued at $3.5 million, and gain a representative on the new board. Other assets, worth about $2.5 million, will be conveyed to the new not-for-profit organization. Eventually, all assets should be conveyed to the new corporation after the city gains confidence in the arrangement, Patten said. Lancaster Memorial earned about $170,000 on revenues of $5.6 million in the 10-month period ended Oct. 31, 1995.
TOLEDO, Ohio-A new health system that claims to be the largest in northwest Ohio was established with the merger of 552-bed St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo and four hospitals in Cincinnati-based Mercy Health System. The new system will be co-sponsored by Mercy and Lexington, Mass.-based Covenant Health Systems, which sponsored St. Vincent. A regional corporation with a 15-member board of trustees has been established to coordinate the activities of the five hospitals, which reported combined assets of almost $600 million, 1994 revenues of $408 million and more than 6,800 employees. In addition to St. Vincent, the system includes 316-bed St. Charles Hospital in Oregon, Ohio, and the Mercy Hospitals in Willard (63 beds), Tiffin (105 beds) and Toledo (327 beds). Darryl R. Lippman, former president and chief executive officer of St. Vincent, was named president and CEO of the new system at its first board meeting Jan. 4. The system goes by the name Mercy Health System-Northern Region but will select a permanent corporate name within a few months, spokeswoman Nancy Wilson said. She said it's too early to say whether there will be changes in services or work force.
MILWAUKEE-St. Mary's Hill Hospital, a 26-bed psychiatric center, was converted from an independent facility into a department of adjoining 331-bed St. Mary's Hospital on Dec. 1, 1995. The hospitals are part of St. Mary's Hospitals system, which also owns an 82-bed hospital in Mequon, Wis. Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute, a 118-bed facility in Milwaukee, also was recently merged into St. Mary's Hospital. Its former site, across town, is being used as a retirement center. St. Mary's Hill lost about $90,000 on total revenues of $6.1 million in 1994, according to the Wisconsin Office of Health Care Information. The merger allows the system's psychiatric physicians to practice with the larger group, said Greg Kresse, director of the behavioral medicine department. It also creates other efficiencies, such as the elimination of separate support functions, he said. No layoffs or executive changes were involved.