Kettering Health Network will be allowed to host inpatient/overnight stays at its Middletown facility following a decision that was months in the making.
Middletown City Council on Tuesday approved a rezoning request that will allow the change, which was opposed by Premier Health, owners of the nearby Atrium Medical Center. Premier had argued that the change would create a duplication of services and increase healthcare costs.
Kettering Health Network officials said they want to be able to offer additional services to their growing number of Middletown area patients and care for them closer to home.
KHN opened its $36 million, 67,000-square-foot Middletown facility off Interstate 75 on Aug. 8.
Four council members voted for the rezoning request with Councilman Joe Mulligan abstaining on the advice of legal counsel.
Vice Mayor Talbott Moon said he supported the rezoning request because it met the necessary criteria and it would provide additional healthcare options for Middletown residents because it accepted Affordable Care Act insurance plans.
Michael Uhl, who recently stepped down as Atrium’s president to become president of Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, said he was “disappointed with the decision but respected the time and attention that City Council gave to a difficult decision that will impact Middletown’s second-largest employer.”
“Now we have to focus on Atrium’s strategic repositioning and ongoing financial viability in the future,” he said.
He said the city should work with both Premier and Kettering to ensure the overall wellness of the city.
Uhl said Premier/Atrium will continue to work at differentiating their services from other healthcare organizations in the Middletown and surrounding markets.
Daniel Tryon, administrator of Kettering Health Network’s Middletown facility, said KHN officials “were grateful for council’s support and this decision will allow us to take care of their patients in Middletown as well as grow with Middletown.”
KHN said it sought the addition of overnight stays so patients could avoid transport to another network facility, which likely would have been further away from their homes, once they had been at the Middletown facility for 23 hours and 59 minutes.