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Closing of Good Sam to impact the neighborhood, healthcare in Dayton

Closing of Good Sam to impact the neighborhood, healthcare in Dayton (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The city of Dayton says it didn't find out until Wednesday morning that Premier Health was going to close Good Samaritan Hospital. Now the question on everyone's mind is what will this mean for folks in the area when it comes to getting service for emergency medical needs?

Fox 45’s Christian Hauser talked with Bryan Bucklew, the President & CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association

"Seconds do matter, minutes do matter but we have a great EMS force in our community and that's when people are really getting that care, right when they are picked up or treated by a medic, by an ambulance, by an EMT," Bucklew said. "We beat the national and state norms in terms of response time and availability to an emergency room.”

He says he was surprised but not shocked to hear about the closure.

"People are accessing healthcare differently. Healthcare is being paid for differently. People are staying in the hospital less amount of time and the length of stays have been decreasing," Bucklew said.

He may not have been but the news was out of the blue for the city.

Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein says losing the hospital is of great concern for the city.

"Not only was Good Sam an economic anchor to our northwest Dayton [area] but they also were a neighborhood stabilizer," Dickstein said.

Dickstein says it's disappointing news but not the end of the world.

"But we've had many times where companies just uprooted and left without any conversation or any concern about the community they were leaving," Dickstein said.

The decision comes down to dollars and cents. Bucklew says four out of five hospital patients are on Medicaid or Medicare.

"The state and federal government are dictating how much gets paid regardless of how much something costs," Bucklew said.

Bucklew says you don't see giant hospitals being built anymore.

A lot of the things that used to be handled by a hospital ER or inpatient facility are now handled through primary care doctors or urgent care centers or micro hospitals.

"With just as good, if not better clinical results and so that's cheaper, better care for the patient and much more cost-efficient than having a big hospital footprint," Bucklew said.

Whatever the future holds for the property, Dickstein says the city plans on being involved along the way.

"The city will be actively at the table helping to guide the redevelopment and repositioning of the property," Dickstein said.

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