A Henry Ford Health System official blamed the decision to close Riverside Osteopathic Hospital, Trenton, Mich., by Dec. 31 on the defection of almost its entire medical staff, two failed mergers, four years of losses and declining patient volume.
Henry Ford, Detroit, twice tried to save the 60-year-old osteopathic hospital. First, there was the January collapse of a proposed merger with another Trenton facility, 72-bed Oakwood Southshore Hospital and Medical Center, owned by Oakwood Healthcare, Dearborn, Mich.
In July the Henry Ford system merged Riverside Osteopathic with 305-bed Henry Ford Wyandotte (Mich.) Riverside Hospitals, intending to turn the osteopathic hospital into an ambulatory and emergency-care center. But the subsequent defection of about 100 Riverside Osteopathic physicians to Oakwood Southshore dealt a fatal blow to the plan.
"The osteopathic physicians each had their own reactions and made their own decisions and moved the majority of their business to Oakwood," Wyandotte Riverside President and CEO Jim Sexton said.
With its far south location, Riverside Osteopathic was not a convenient outpatient facility for Wyandotte Riverside doctors, Sexton said. "When the day is done, the numbers told the story," he said.
Riverside Osteopathic last turned a profit in 1998. It lost nearly $9 million during the 1999-2001 period and had projected a $12 million loss for this year, Sexton said. Licensed for 162 acute-care beds, the hospital has been operating only six acute-care beds since July.
Sexton said Wyandotte Riverside is operating at full capacity. Riverside Osteopathic's behavioral health wing, with 20 psychiatric beds, also is full. Sexton said his hospital would not be able to absorb those patients and is looking to another area health system to take them in.
He said the hospital's 500 employees would be given first priority for the about 600 jobs open within the Henry Ford system.
Officials hope to sell the facility, once it's closed, perhaps to a mental health services provider, but no offers have been made, Sexton said. He did not have an estimate of the cost of closing the hospital.
Henry Ford will operate four hospitals after Riverside Osteopathic is shut down.