Beshear says no for second time to University Hospital merger

For the second time, Gov. Steve Beshear has rejected a proposed merger for Louisville’s University Hospital, saying he still didn’t think ideas suggested in a meeting last week would be enough to allay his concerns. Beshear said no to a controversial proposal Dec. 30 that would have merged University Hospital with Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and St. Joseph Health System.

Beshear would not go into details about what ideas University Hospital officials presented last week, saying only that he remains “committed to working with the university to explore all appropriate paths forward for the hospital and for our Kentucky taxpayers,” Patrick Howington and Laura Ungar report for The Courier-Journal.

The merger would have give majority control to St. Joseph, which is owned by Catholic Health Initiatives, so all three health systems would have been subject to Catholic health directives. Jewish & St. Mary’s and St. Joseph announced last Friday they will merge without University Hospital and call the system KentuckyOne Health. Beshear said he rejected the merger because it would mean the loss of control of a public asset and raised “constitutional church-and-state issues,” Howington and Ungar report. (Read more)
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