COLUMBUS – Legislation that will help Highland District Hospital and eight other public hospitals around Ohio has been signed into law.
House Bill 222, sponsored by State Representatives Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland), was signed into law today by Governor Mike DeWine.
The bill specifies that an entity formed or acquired by a public hospital, or one it becomes involved with, is a separate entity. The clarity is important for our hospitals, Wilkin said.
“Public hospitals play an important role in the delivery of health care in our community and a number of communities across Ohio,” Wilkin said. “This is a common sense bill that will remove ambiguity from state law.”
Randal Lennartz, president and chief executive officer of Highland District Hospital, was among those who filed testimony in support of the bill. He praised the passage of House Bill 222.
“The rural healthcare industry is a very challenging industry. It is responsible for providing vital care to a vast amount of citizens, yet it is commonly underfunded and is required to operate on limited resources,” Lennartz said. “The passing of House Bill 222 allows organizations like our rural, critical access hospital, to expand our services through partnerships with other organizations. This opportunity fuels the necessary heartbeat of our healthcare continuum and propels the possibility of exceptional, local care far into the future.”