UofL Health to retire loan used to buy Jewish Hospital and other facilities of defunct KentuckyOne Health in four years, not 15

Jewish Hospital has kept its name but is now clearly a subsidiary to the UofL Health brand. (UofL photo)

The University of Louisville‘s hospital operations are doing so well that UofL Health had adopted an accelerated repayment schedule for a $35 million loan it got from state government to buy the assets of KentuckyOne Health, including Louisville’s Jewish Hospital

The 15-year repayment schedule is now four years, ending in April 2025, under a new deal approved Thursday by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority and announced by Gov. Andy Beshear.

“I want to congratulate UofL Health on its recent success,” Beshear said in a press release. “It is great to see their facilities have benefited from the funds issued last year, and I hope to see this positive trajectory continue well into the future. We know now more than ever how vital our health care facilities are to our state’s continued growth. This is tremendous news for the Louisville area and the commonwealth.”

The loan, first conceived in the closing months of the Matt Bevin administration, was to be $50 million. The Beshear administration and the General Assembly agreed on $35 million in March 2020 to absorb short-term operating losses and capital improvements, including:
  • Replacement of information-technology infrastructure to support electronic medical records
  • A geropsychiatric unit and redevelopment of an epilepsy unit
  • A catheterization lab and detox unit at Mary & Elizabeth Hospital
  • Addition of 10 beds at Frazier Rehabilitation Institute
  • Air-conditioning upgrades for UofL Health-Shelbyville Hospital.
Since absorbing KentuckyOne, UofL Health has done well financially, ending the last fiscal year with higher patient admissions and net income of $96.5 million. UofL Health has more than 1.5 million patients a year and has more than 7,900 full-time employees. Jewish Hospital has long been an essential part of its medical-education and transplant programs.
Other details of the deal remain, including the ability to forgive up to half of each annual loan payment based on UofL Health meeting either of two options: keeping 5,880 full-time, Kentucky-resident jobs with an average hourly wage, excluding benefits, of at least $35; or meeting two requirements in Louisville’s officially designated Medically Underserved Areas: Continue operating existing facilities and open at least one additional facility in the MUA or in close proximity to serve the MUA, and increase the number of family-medicine access points from 10 to 14.

“In the past year, UofL Health opened two new Urgent Care Plus locations in underserved areas, and 107 physicians have been recruited to improve care for the underserved population,” said a news release from Beshear’s office.

“Our UofL Health system [has] never better staffed, funded and appreciated,” President Neeli Bendapudi said in a news release announcing that she would become president of The Pennsylvania State University.

UofL Health CEO Tom Miller said in the release, “UofL Health would not have come into being without Neeli’s leadership. She led the charge that saved Jewish Hospital and ensured the future of a thriving health care system in Louisville’s downtown just before the Covid crisis swept the globe. The UofL Health family extends our thanks to Neeli for her leadership and we will be forever grateful for her historic impact on the city and the university.”

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