September 2, 2014

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CHP ousts administrators

Firings will save health care provider an estimated $1.5 million per year

LORAIN – The president and chief executive officer of Community Health Partners was fired Thursday along with 11 other administrators in what officials are saying is an effort to streamline how the health care provider operates.

The elimination of Mark Nosacka`s job and those of the other administrators was done so that CHP, which operates Community Regional Medical Center in Lorain, could be folded into the Toledo region of the hospital system`s parent company, Catholic Healthcare Partners, as opposed to operating as a stand alone division.

The move will save about $1.5 million a year, said Steven Mickus, president of Catholic Healthcare Partners` Northern Division.

Edwin Oley, president of the Lorain hospital, will assume Nosacka`s responsibilities by becoming president of the Lorain division of Mercy Health Partners, which is the name of the Toledo region, as well as continuing to lead the Lorain hospital.

Mickus said the changes will improve patient care at the system`s three facilities in Lorain County: Community Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Allen Medical Center in Oberlin and the specialty hospital at St. Joseph Community Center in Lorain.

“Community Health Partners must make changes in order to continue to provide the level of care our patients expect and deserve and to continue our mission of providing quality care to all,“ Mikus said. “We`re going to be able to better tend to patients. We`re not exporting health care to Toledo by any means.”

Mickus acknowledged that the growing financial problems of Community Health Partners also were to blame for the cuts.

He noted that hospital systems around the country are struggling to balance the books due to a decline in reimbursements and an increase in the number of uninsured or underinsured patients. A release announcing the changes notes that one-third of all U.S. hospitals are losing money.

In Lorain, the hospital has been cutting costs wherever possible. It has laid off employees over the past few years, and it recently severed its five-year relationship with University Hospitals of Cleveland to jointly operate the Ireland Cancer Center on Schadden Road.

Last month, it discontinued supplemental health insurance it once offered to 95 retired employees from the former St. Joseph Hospital, saving about $200,000, last month.

Mickus said he could not promise that the cuts are done. Community Health Partners employs about 2,500 people.

He said the changes will not affect plans Community Health Partners has to build a new medical facility, tentatively called St. Mary`s Community Hospital, next to its cancer center on Schadden Road.

Those plans are still in the conceptual stage, he said, and details about it weren`t intended for public release when an e-mail sent to hospital employees in September was shared with The Chronicle-Telegram.

Mickus said Nosacka`s termination did not have anything to do with the premature release of those plans.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.