Cleveland Clinic plans to shut down its Lakewood (Ohio) Hospital, turning it into an ambulatory facility, reflective of the nationwide industry trend toward outpatient care.
“Healthcare in America is in the midst of an unprecedented transformation and the way care is delivered to patients is rapidly shifting,” said Dr. Toby Cosgrove, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, in a statement. “Our goal is to best meet the medical needs of the Lakewood community for today and the future.”
The hospital, under a plan that must be approved by its owner, the Lakewood City Council, will be turned into a “health and wellness campus,” which will include a $34 million, 62,000-square-foot family health center, along with a full-service emergency department.
Cleveland Clinic, which manages the hospital, signed a letter of intent regarding the closure Wednesday evening with the Lakewood Hospital Association, the hospital's operating entity, and the Lakewood Hospital Foundation, the hospital's supporting charity.
In addition to an ED, the family health facility will offer primary and specialty care, including geriatrics, cardiac care and diabetes treatment. Radiology and laboratory services will be available on site, and further services will be considered during community discussions in coming weeks.
The Lakewood Hospital Association's board of trustees worked with consultants from Atlanta-based Subsidium Healthcare to develop the plan, and completed a request for proposal from healthcare providers in the area and across the country.
Cleveland Clinic officials say they intend to keep part of Lakewood Hospital open until the system's new Avon (Ohio) Hospital opens in September 2016, approximately 13.5 miles away. Lakewood's ED will remain open, and other services will continue until the family health center opens, according to a release.
If the proposal is approved, Cleveland Clinic's nearest inpatient hospital will be Fairview Hospital in Cleveland, which is about three miles away. The Clinic's Lutheran Hospital is roughly six miles away in the same city and its main campus is over 13 miles away.
Lakewood would continue hiring employees throughout the transition process. The Cleveland Clinic's goal, officials said, is to be able to offer a job to every Lakewood Hospital employee who wants one after the proposed closure, either within the health system or with an affiliate.
The new plan seeks to address concerns expressed in a 2013 community health-needs assessment conducted in Lakewood, that included a desire for better access to preventative care and physicians who are more readily available to local residents, according to the release.
Stakeholders completing the assessment also asked for a civic environment that was supportive of healthy habits; the proposal includes more than $32 million to start a community-based foundation to oversee local health and wellness activities.
Lakewood Mayor Mike Summers praised the proposal in a release jointly signed by the city, its hospital association, foundation and the Cleveland Clinic, calling it “good news for our community,” and a proactive move by the hospital's governing board.
If the proposal is approved, Cleveland Clinic also would purchase a medical facility in Westlake, Ohio where it currently offers outpatient services, from the Lakewood Hospital Association. It also will relocate its Family Medicine Residency and Center for Family Medicine program from Fairview Hospital to Lakewood.
Cleveland Clinic isn't the first system to close a hospital as inpatient volumes drop. Steward Health Care System announced in November controversial plans to replace Quincy (Mass.) Medical Center with an outpatient urgent-care center and a 24-hour emergency department, in two separate locations. HCA closed Edward White Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., in November for the same reason.
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