To allow time for more "discussions and negotiations," the University of Louisville has put off deciding on University Hospital's new health-care partner until the end of June.
It is not known how many entities are interested in partnering with the indigent-care hospital, nor have any entities been identified. The deadline for applications, which was last month, has not been extended. "The university has said it needs a partner with deep pockets that can inject cash required to expand the hospital and attract new patients," reports Andrew Wolfson for The Courier-Journal.
Kerri Richardson, chief spokeswoman for Gov. Steve Beshear, said he is hopeful the hospital will find "a suitable path forward to preserve its public mission and continue to successfully serve citizens in the region."
Last year, Beshear rejected a proposed merger between University Hospital, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, which is owned by Catholic Health Initiatives. Because Saint Joseph would have had majority control in the initial deal, the other facilities would have had to adhere to Catholic health directives, which affect procedures like elective abortions, sterilizations, artificial insemination and euthanasia. Those limitations raised concerns and that the move would have been a loss of control of a public asset, meaning University Hospital.
After Beshear's decision, Jewish & St. Mary's and St. Joseph merged, forming KentuckyOne. (Read more)