Doctors' Hospital intends to restructure or sell to avoid closing

Doctors' Hospital of Michigan in Pontiac is giving off conflicting signals, the Detroit News reports. President and CEO Clarence Sevillian has been waffling over how he depicts the hospital's future.

First, he said the hospital might close. In a letter dated Nov. 4 to the state, Sevillian wrote that the hospital is "engaged in serious efforts to restructure its organization and/or sell its facility," and that "the entire Doctors' Hospital of Michigan may be closed on a permanent basis or may have a mass layoff" as early as Jan. 3, according to the Detroit News.

A little later in November, in an about-face, Sevillian said it would not close. He told  the Detroit News that "there are no discussions that involve closing the hospital. On the contrary, the hospital has posted a profit seven out of the eight last months." Sevillian later told employees that the "hospital has no intentions of closing or discontinuing healthcare services for the community," and that they should continue working to serve patients, according to Anne Mancour, marketing and communications manager for the hospital.

To explain the Nov. 4 letter, a hospital spokeswoman said that Doctors' Hospital is legally required to notify workers and the state of possible ownership changes or layoffs that affect 50 employees or more.

Although a closing is possible, Dr. Anil Kumar, one of the hospital's physician owners, said he didn't think it was likely.

Still, he admitted that the hospital is struggling financially. It has no capital investment and no money set aside for a rainy day, Kumar, a urologist, said. Unless the hospital gets an infusion of cash in one form or another, it won't survive. "We're looking at all options possible," he said.

This week, Doctors' Hospital officials will meet with other nearby hospitals to hash out possible remedies that could include restructuring, financial help or an acquisition. Although officially licensed for 351 beds, Doctors' Hospital is operating and staffing for 100 beds, the Detroit News reports.

To learn more:
- here's the Detroit News story
- read the Detroit Free Press article