Middletown City Council Tuesday approved a rezoning request that will enable Kettering Health Network’s Middletown facility to have expanded medical including patient stays longer than 24 hours. KHN officials said they are serving a number of Middletown area residents since they opened in early August. FILE PHOTO Kettering Health Network is seeking to rezone its property in Middletown to enable it to provide expanded medical services including patient stays over 23 hours. In September 2017, the Middletown Planning Commission denied the request that had the recommendation of the city Planning and Zoning Department. However, KHN withdrew its request before City Council considered it. The Middletown Planning Commission will consider the request at its Nov. 14 meeting. FILE PHOTO

After months of debate, Middletown approves overnight stays at new Kettering Health facility

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.

MORE: Kettering Health closer to adding more Middletown inpatient beds

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.”

MORE: Kettering Health Network’s rezoning request in Middletown clears first hurdle

“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.

MORE: Kettering Health wants to add hospital beds to Middletown medical center

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.

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