Final Decision on VRMC, Essentia Affiliation Nears

By KBJR News 1

August 21, 2012 Updated Aug 21, 2012 at 7:09 PM CDT

Virginia, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The final vote on a proposed affiliation between the Virginia Regional Medical Center and Essentia Health is just weeks away.

After years of discussion about a deal, the Virginia City Council will make the decision at a September 4th meeting. The hospital commission voted in favor of the affiliation in June, but a 5–2 vote by the city council is needed to go through with the partnership.

Those in favor of the move say it will expand the hospital's resources, improving patient care.

The hospital has experienced financial losses and trouble retaining physicians in the past. They recently reported an estimated $190,000 in lost revenue for the month of July, after several months in the black.

However, hospital officials say that that's not unusual for this time of year. They attribute the loss to the large amount of vacation time taken in the summer months.