Ohio Valley Hospital announces plan to join Heritage Valley system

Monday, May 14, 2018 | 2:09 PM

Ohio Valley Hospital will join the Moon Township-based Heritage Valley Health System, the two organizations said Monday afternoon in a joint statement.

“Heritage Valley is very pleased and honored to be selected as Ohio Valley Hospital’s preferred partner,” Heritage Valley President and CEO Norm Mitry said in a statement. “Our board of directors unanimously supported the affiliation, and identical to Ohio Valley Hospital’s board, remains committed to high quality, locally accessible community healthcare.”

Heritage Valley has more than 3,500 employees and more than 480 physicians and services patients in all or parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania, and portions of Ohio and West Virginia. Ohio Valley Hospital has more than 250 physicians.

At the Kennedy Township-based Ohio Valley Hospital, board members spent the last eight months weighing options for its hospital.

On its website Ohio Valley Hospital said its reason for joining Heritage Valley was due to a “rapidly” changing healthcare marketplace.

“In the face of increasing pressures on utilization and reimbursement, it has become very difficult for small rural and urban hospitals to remain independent. In recent years, there have been a record number of hospital and health system mergers and consolidations, both regionally and nationally,” according to Ohio Valley Hospital’s website.

The 124-bed hospital in Kennedy, which dates to the 1890s, is joining as a “membership substitution,” the health system said.

“The difference between being purchased and a membership substitution is that we are electively joining Heritage Valley Health System, and integrating into its system to become one of its hospitals,” Ohio Valley Hospital said. “Neither side will unilaterally set the terms of this transaction; instead, both boards of directors will collaborate to develop a definitive agreement that best meets the needs of the community and patients who are served by Ohio Valley Hospital.”

The hospital systems now will enter a due diligence period in which the two will work finalize the deal by fall. Government approval will occur after the two boards finalize a deal.

The systems expect the transaction to close later this year or early next year.

“We are affiliating with an organization that we highly respect and trust,” Ohio Valley Hospital President and CEO David W. Scott said in a statement. “When the decision was made by our Board of Directors to affiliate, Heritage Valley was the clear choice.”

Bobby Cherry is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rcherry@tribweb.com and on Twitter at @bc_trib.