The Courier-Journal, continuing to explore Louisville hospital merger, says many more questions still need answering

The proposed merger of the University of Louisville hospital with Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare and with St. Joseph Health System of Lexington, which follows the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, continues to draw heavy attention from The Courier-Journal. Sunday’s newspaper had a long column by editorial writer Pam Platt, and an editorial that online was packaged with a video discussion among the editorial board and U of L President James Ramsey, David Laird of Jewish and St. Mary’s, Dr. Daniel Varga of St. Joseph and James Taylor, CEO of University Hospital.
“On many levels, the merger . . . is appealing,” the editorial began, saying the new system would be broader and more efficient and secure the three Louisville hospitals as they compete with Baptist Hospital-East and Norton Healthcare, which recently announced an affiliation arrangement with the University of Kentucky” hospital. “Two significant issues continue to make the merger problematic, however.” In addition to the issues of reproductive care, the editorial wonders whether advances in medical science that conflict with Catholic teaching could cause the merger to “unwind,” as hospital officials put it, and what the ramifications of that would be. (Read more)
In her column, Platt, right, focused on the merger’s impact on women, saying it remains unclear. For example, “The partners say transportation will be provided for pregnant women wanting tubal ligations, as well as for their infants. But what will be the process for them accessing that? What are the details? . . . Many of us need more answers to additional questions . . . before we know if this merger is the answer not only for the business end of things, but for all the people who depend on the hospitals for their care.” The merger needs state approval to proceed. (Read more)
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