Arbitration to Determine Control of Bonita Health
A judge recently ruled that arbitration will be used to determine control over the Bonita Community Health Center. The Lee County judge’s decision is viewed as a win for Lee Memorial Health System. The organization is hoping to eventually dissolve its partnership with the rival hospital and co-owner of the center, NCH Healthcare System in Naples. The Bonita outpatient clinic, located in the Coconut Point Mall is shared 50-50 by the hospitals.
Lee plans to construct a $140 million medical campus, located on the vacant lot beside Bonita. Their goal is to gain full control of the facility under “sole membership. Lee was so happy with the judge’s decision, it issued a public statement, but NCH did not concur. A spokesperson stated in an email, “We respectfully disagree with the judge’s decision and have already filed an appeal of that order.”
Resolution has been a long time coming. In January, Bonita sought to dissolve its partnership with NCH over the clinic, but NCH refused. The board, made up of half Bonita members and have NCH members, was deadlocked on the issue for months until Lee sought arbitration. NCH sued to block the request, stating the court system should have nothing to do with the matter.
Plans for the new campus include an emergency room and a variety of outpatient medical services. The cost will be around $140 million. Currently, Bonita is a 100,000 square foot facility with 50 physicians providing urgent care treatment, imaging and diagnostics, pain management, physical therapy, and outpatient surgical services.