Cincinnati, Ohio. January 31, 2014. Hamilton County Judge Jerome Metz, Jr. ruled today that the Women’s Med Center in Sharonville can stay open during their appeal of the Ohio Department of Health’s order to not renew its license to operate as an ambulatory surgery facility. Judge Metz held that closing Women’s Med Center would cause an unusual harm to the center and its patients.
Valerie Haskell, managing member of Lebanon Road Surgery Center stated, “We are asking the court to review and reverse the Director’s order. We believe the order was misguided. The Center has been inspected numerous times by the Department of Health over the last three years it has never been found to have compromised patient safety.”
The Director of the Department of Health refused to renew the Center’s license because no local hospital in Cincinnati would sign a transfer agreement with the Center. ODH allowed the Center to open in the fall of 2010 without a hospital transfer agreement. However, in October 2012, ODH began the administrative process to not renew the Center’s license. The Center has appealed at every step of the administrative process. The Center’s appeal is just one more step in the process. Women’s Med Center has remained open to care for patients during the administrative process and plans to continue to remain open through the remainder of the appeal process by seeking a stay from the local court.
Jennifer Branch, the Center’s attorney, was disappointed with the Director’s decision, which has been pending before him since October. “Women’s Med Center has provided quality medical care to its patients since ODH licensed the Center in 2010 even though it did not have a transfer agreement. We are disappointed that after allowing the Center to operate without a transfer agreement for over three years, ODH has now refused to renew the Center’s license.”