Springfield strikes deal with Premier, OhioHealth: What that means for the unique facility

Nurses confer over a patient's chart Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022 at the Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital.  BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

caption arrowCaption
Nurses confer over a patient's chart Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022 at the Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

A physician-owned hospital in Springfield has a new business deal to share ownership with two major hospital networks: Dayton-based Premier Health and Columbus-based OhioHealth.

Since opening in 2009, Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital has operated in Springfield as one of the few independent hospitals in the state. Premier and OhioHealth formed a joint venture that will be sharing ownership with Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital’s 35 physician-owners.

There are no immediate plans to change services at Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital, according to the announcement made Tuesday morning.

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According to Ohio Valley leaders, physicians at the Springfield hospital will remain independent. However, the deal would allow the hospital to use resources from both Premier and OhioHealth to expand operations and services and attract new specialists, said Steve Eisentrager, president of Ohio Valley.

“This partnership brings needed resources to successfully innovate in a changing health care landscape while allowing the doctors to maintain independence and focus on clinical excellence,” Eisentrager said in a statement on Tuesday.

Eisentrager also said that the hospital has at times needed more capacity. The new business partners plan to meet in the next three to six months to work out more details, including possible expansion plans for Ohio Valley, he said.

“Ohio Valley is kind of a backbone that helps support the growth of independent physicians that want to practice autonomy, and we are part of strengthening that. But we need the resources of a larger hospital partner to be able to do that,” Eisentrager added.

The hospital already works with a number of general practitioners and specialists and employs over 300 people. Ohio Valley sent a request for proposals for partnerships, which led to picking the two systems for the deal.

The hospital had been interested in facilitating a deal with interested partners for some time and started that work in 2019.

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The coronavirus pandemic delayed the process, and talks resumed in 2021. The talks eventually led to a deal with Premier and OhioHealth, said Kristin Davis, the market and brand strategy director for Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital.

Clark County is a new market for Premier Health, which operates its flagship Miami Valley Hospital in downtown Dayton, as well as Miami Valley Hospital North and South, Upper Valley Medical Center and Atrium Medical Center.

“We looked at this as an opportunity to expand and move into a new market and support a local community,” said Lainie Dean, chief strategy and business development officer for Premier.

Premier Health’s competitor Kettering Health also recently started its expansion into the market with a new medical center and emergency department in Springfield, expected to open this spring.