Under a planned joint venture, physicians intend to purchase a 40% stake in 167-bed Deaconess Hospital, Cincinnati. The remaining portion would be retained by the hospitals not-for-profit parent, Deaconess Associations.
Michael Barber, M.D., who would become chief executive officer of the hospital, said the approach grew out of the dynamics of the Cincinnati market, in which the large practices have aligned with TriHealth, a three-hospital network, the four-hospital Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati and Christ Hospital. As the market has consolidated, its left a lot of the small practices on the fringes, Barber said. The hospital has suffered financially, and Barber said that he expects its performance will improve when physicians have a financial and emotional investment there and that the staff and capabilities would be expanded to address unmet needs.
Barber, a family physician, also is the chief medical officer and vice president for business development for YourCity.MD, a Web portal with localized directories that help patients find doctors. Calls to Deaconess requesting comment were not returned before deadline. -- by Gregg Blesch