EMH Healthcare, Elyria, Ohio, has inked a letter of intent to officially explore joining University Hospitals, located about 35 miles east in Cleveland.
For University Hospitals, the move deal would represent its first foray into Lorain County. The system is the second-largest in the greater Cleveland region, with 1,182 beds and seven hospitals. It trails the Cleveland Clinic health system, which has 3,250 beds at 10 hospitals in Ohio, but has a lead on the Sisters of Charity Health System, with its 1,036 beds at four hospitals.
A news release said University Hospitals would make investments in and add new services to EMH, with the potential to build out programs such as those offered at the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.
The parties expect to reach a final agreement by year-end, the release added.