Indian River Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic Closer to Agreement

Indian River Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic moving forward in Vero Beach, Florida.
Indian River Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic moving forward in Vero Beach, Florida.

VERO BEACH – The extensive and rigorous affiliation process for Indian River Medical Center (IRMC) has entered its final stages, as representatives of Cleveland Clinic, IRMC, and the Indian River County Hospital District announced today they have finalized draft agreements that, if approved by their respective governing boards and subject to governmental agency filings, will result in IRMC joining the Cleveland Clinic health system.

As part of the terms of the transaction, Cleveland Clinic is committing to invest at least $250 million in IRMC over the next 10 years.

“The arrival of Cleveland Clinic will bring our community access to healthcare provided by one of the very best health systems in the world,” said IRMC Board Chair Dr. Wayne Hockmeyer. “I believe their outstanding reputation will be a powerful recruiting tool that will enable IRMC to attract top-quality physicians and other healthcare professionals.”

“There are still a few important steps left in our process, but I’m appreciative of the support we have had from the community and the effort that so many have put into securing a bright future for IRMC,” said Hospital District Chair Marybeth Cunningham. “The district trustees are eager to meet and consider the draft agreements next week and complete this process with the thoughtfulness and commitment to transparency we’ve demonstrated throughout.”

“This has been a thorough process and we appreciate the dedication of both Indian River Medical Center and the Indian River County Hospital District throughout our ongoing discussions,” said Wael Barsoum, MD, CEO and President, Cleveland Clinic Florida. “We are pleased to share this draft agreement which we believe will continue to advance care to this community and support those in need of vital health services.”

When finalized, IRMC and its affiliates will become a part of the Cleveland Clinic health system, with the Cleveland Clinic having ultimate governing authority at IRMC. IRMC will continue to lease the hospital facilities and the land on which they stand under an amended and restated lease for a term of up to 75 years from the Hospital District.

The terms of the proposed draft agreements were presented to members of the IRMC Board of Directors and Indian River County Hospital District Board of Trustees today and the board members received copies of the proposed agreements, which are also being made available to the public at IRMCtomorrow.com and IRCHD.com. In addition to the investment commitment, the agreements outline that Cleveland Clinic will maintain maternity care (labor, delivery and obstetrics), in-patient well baby care/pediatrics and gynecology services, behavioral health/mental health services, inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular services, inpatient and outpatient cancer care services and gastroenterology services at IRMC for at least 10 years.

In addition, District support for indigent care at IRMC in general will phase out over three years after the transaction’s closing, after which Cleveland Clinic/ IRMC will assume responsibility for indigent care in general in the community. The District does, however, plan to continue support for the Partners program, which provides prenatal and post-partum indigent care.

On October 3, 2018, the boards will meet separately and consider the draft agreements. If both boards approve the proposed draft agreements, the transaction will close once filings and approvals required by governmental agencies are complete.

For more information about the process, please visit www.irmctomorrow.com.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and grew up living on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2002, he moved back to Florida and settled in Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.