Hamilton County, Ohio, commissioners voted 2-1 to approve transferring the county's membership in 316-bed Drake Center, Cincinnati, to six-hospital Health Alliance. The county has three of nine seats on the board of the center's corporate parent and owns the land on which the long-term acute-care and rehabilitation hospital sits. University of Cincinnati, which has the remaining six seats, is expected to approve transferring its membership to Health Alliance, making Health Alliance the sole member of the hospital's parent. No money will change hands. The state attorney general also must approve the transfers. The alliance is negotiating separately to buy the hospital land, buildings and equipment. Health Alliance Vice President Gail Myers said the system expects university and state approval shortly and plans to assume ownership of the hospital July 1, 2006. It has been operating the hospital under an interim management agreement since Dec. 1. Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, who voted against the transfer, could not be reached for comment at deadline. Critics objected earlier this year when Drake's board approved $2.3 million in severance pay and retention bonuses for the hospital's top executives, who have since left. Drake lost more than $76 million on operations between 2000 and the fiscal year ended June 30, 2004; however, it reported net income of $2.4 million on net patient revenue of $54.3 million in 2004, according to the American Hospital Directory. -- by Mark Taylor
Ohio county approves transfer of LTAC hospital
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