Medina hospital braces for changes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 December 2013 at 12:00 am

‘The hospital is moving in the right direction,’ hospital CEO tells Legislature

ALBION – Medina Memorial Hospital and its parent organization, Orleans Community Health, are making a series of changes in the coming months that will make the hospital stronger and more viable for the future, the hospital’s CEO told Orleans County legislators on Wednesday.

The community can expect a shift to more outpatient care, although the emergency room and inpatient beds will remain.

“Things are looking good,” Dolores Horvath, the hospital CEO and president, told the Legislature. “The hospital is moving in the right direction.”

The hospital is well positioned to serve the county, Horvath said, with health care sites in Medina and a new facility in Albion at the corner of Butts Road and Route 31. The Albion site is increasing services and expects to meet the “urgent care” standard in early 2014. Radiology equipment will arrive this month so that service can be offered in Albion, Horvath said.

The hospital sold the Orchard Manor nursing home earlier this year and is closing a seven-bed psychiatric unit that hospital officials say operates at a $300,000-plus annual deficit.

“We could no longer sustain that,” Horvath said.

Small hospitals are challenged, Horvath said, and some have been unable to survive. Lakeside Memorial Hospital in Brockport closed in April. Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving, Chautauqua County, is closing next month.

“I’ve been in healthcare for 30 years and I’ve never seen such challenging times as I do today,” Horvath said.

The hospital has a staff focused in getting Orleans Community Health paid for its services through Medicaid, Medicare and the insurance companies.

Horvath said other health care providers are stepping up their efforts to attract Orleans County patients.

The University of Rochester Medical Center bought the former Lakeside hospital and renamed it “Strong West.” The organization has been advertising in Orleans.

United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia also plans to leave the Medina hospital as a tenant and open an expanded women’s health center on Maple Ridge Road.

Medina will lose UMMC as a tenant and could see some of its patients align with the Batavia organization, which would weaken Orleans Community Health.

Horvath asked the Legislature to be strong backers of Orleans Community Health, an organization with a mission to provide healthcare in Orleans County.

“We want you to be viable and strong  organization that contributes of the overall viability and strength of the county,” Legislature Chairman David Callard said.