A stand-alone central Ohio hospital in the state's fastest growing county has agreed to merge with a large not-for-profit Columbus system. Eight-hospital OhioHealth, which recently announced plans to build a $130 million hospital in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, today announced it would acquire 75-bed Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware, Ohio, which is located about 20 miles north of Columbus. In April, Grady's board voted to become a member of OhioHealth in a transaction in which no money changed hands. OhioHealth's board approved the merger last week but announced it today.
Grady President and Chief Executive Officer Bud Weber said OhioHealth purchased a 25% ownership stake in the not-for-profit community hospital in 2001, but the relationship dates back more than 20 years. Weber said the affiliation with OhioHealth enabled Grady to expand its medical staff, save money on purchasing and add four new service lines, turning a $41,000 profit on 2003 net patient revenue of $49.6 million to a $2.87 million profit on 2004 revenue of $54.4 million. Weber said because affluent Delaware County's population has grown faster than predicted, the need for expanded services and greater access to capital grew stronger. "We're guaranteed an inpatient hospital facility in Delaware County from now on," he said, pointing out an OhioHealth commitment to build an ambulatory facility on 105 acres that could be expanded into an inpatient hospital to meet market demands.
In a news release, OhioHealth President and CEO David Blom said adding Grady "will further enable us to provide comprehensive, community-based healthcare." The state's attorney general has 60 days to challenge the deal.