Why not just enforce the current contract with the Clinic? You say you want to hold them accountable. Why not hold them accountable to that contract?
This question goes to the heart of persistent misconceptions about Lakewood Hospital. The city has not been a party to any agreement with the Clinic prior to now. The parties to the 1996 lease are the city and Lakewood Hospital Association. Under the lease, LHA makes a commitment to run a hospital. The Clinic is not a party to that lease and does not have any rights or obligations under the lease.
The agreement to which the Clinic was a party is the 1996 definitive agreement. LHA and the Clinic are the parties to the 1996 definitive agreement. The city was never a party to the definitive agreement.
There is a widespread misperception that LHA’s operational, maintenance and other obligations associated with the hospital under the 1996 lease were passed through to the Clinic in the definitive agreement. This perception is not reality. While the Clinic did have some obligations under the definitive agreement, requirements to operate the hospital for the lease term (or any term) or provide specific services at the hospital were not among them. The party with those affirmative obligations was LHA, not the Clinic, pursuant to the terms of the lease. Given the hospital’s failing condition, it would be irresponsible of the city to assume that LHA would be able to fulfill its lease commitments. Proactive leadership is needed now to ensure the delivery of health care in Lakewood.
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