WHEELING, WV – Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, West Virginia ("OVMC") and East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry, Ohio ("EORH") last Wednesday announced that after a thorough evaluation of all available options, losses of more than $37 Million over the past two years, and an exhaustive but unsuccessful search for a strategic partner or buyer, OVMC and EORH have decided to begin the process to close both OVMC and EORH.

OVMC and EORH will immediately begin working with federal, state, and local agencies to develop a definitive timeline for the closure of both facilities, the press release noted. The closure process for facilities like OVMC and EORH typically takes 60 to 90 days and OVMC and EORH will share a definitive timeline with all interested parties in the coming days. Several media outlets last Thursday reported both facilities will be shuttered effective October 7.

Officials noted the decision to begin the closure process was based on, among other things, the following factors:

- OVMC, EORH, and their physician practices have lost more than $37 Million over the past 2 years as they struggled to overcome declining volumes, declining reimbursement, and the substantial harm caused by the conduct alleged by the Government in a law suit against Wheeling Hospital.

- OVMC and EORH have been unable to compete with Wheeling Hospital and its business practices including, without limitation, those alleged in the same lawsuit.

- OVMC requires substantial improvements to its physical plant and the continued losses at OVMC and EORH do not leave funds available to complete such improvements.

- Despite their exhaustive efforts to identify a strategic partner or buyer for OVMC and/or EORH, which included discussions with more than 15 different national, regional, and local healthcare systems or providers, OVMC and EORH have been unable to locate a strategic partner or buyer for one or both of the facilities.

- As they begin the closure process, OVMC and EORH will also continue their efforts to identify opportunities, alternatives, and options for both facilities. OVMC and EORH will also work closely with their employees, physicians, and patients as well as community leaders to ensure an orderly closure process for both facilities.

Prior to Wednesday’s 7 p.m. press release, management met with and shared the news with the over 1,200 employees of both facilities.

The universe of health care nationally and locally is changing quickly. In February, Wheeling Hospital announced the closing of Belmont Community Hospital, formerly City Hospital, at Bellaire.

On June 1, Barnesville Hospital entered into a management agreement with the West Virginia University Medicine Network. Reynolds Memorial in Glen Dale and Wetzel County Hospital in New Martinsville are also part of the WVU Medicine while Harrison Community Hospital in Cadiz is affiliated with Wheeling Hospital.