A group of clergy has filed a complaint with the federal government saying the closure of Good Samaritan Hospital violates the civil rights of black residents served by the hospital.
The complaint was filed on Friday with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, a little less than four months after Premier Health, which operates Good Samaritan, announced it would be closing the northwest Dayton hospital.
Here are five things we’ve learned about the complaint against Premier Health:
1. Why was the complaint filed?
The complaint that was filed states the closing of the 2222 Philadelphia Drive hospital will “have a discriminatory and separate adverse impact on African Americans and women” in violation of the Civil Rights Act and under the Affordable Care Act.
INITIAL REPORT: Civil rights complaint filed over planned Good Sam closure
2. How did Premier Health react?
Premier Health said in a statement that the health system is “committed to providing care for everyone in our community, just as we have done for more than 125 years. We are in the process of reviewing the complaint and, therefore, cannot make any specific comments on it.”
3. What happens next?
The Office of Civil Rights will determine if it has the legal authority to investigate the complaint and if it decides that it can, then investigators will gather more information and eventually issue a decision on whether civil rights have been violated.
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4. What if civil rights have been violated?
If civil rights have been violated, the hospital would have to take corrective action or risk enforcement proceedings that could mean a loss of federal funding.
5. Why was the hospital closed in the first place?
The decision to close the hospital, one of the last anchor institutions on the city’s west side, has received push back from residents and city leaders concerned about the loss of not only access to medical services like the emergency department but also the loss of the 1,600 main campus jobs that will be transferred to other facilities within the health system.
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The health network leadership have said the high number of empty beds and the high cost of keeping up an inefficient and out-of-date facility were factors that played a role in the decision to close the hospital, which is in an area with a declining population that’s been shifting to the suburbs.
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