A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Concerns increase that Louisville’s Jewish Hospital could close or be sold as result of financial woes

Louisville’s Jewish Hospital continues to lose money, apparently raising the chances that it could be closed rather than sold.

The hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare, which operate as a unit of KentuckyOne Health, “recorded operating losses of $17.7 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, which was slightly better than the period a year earlier, when operating losses exceeded $20 million,” Boris Ladwig reports for Insider Louisville. “Nonetheless, losses in for the most recent quarter were at nearly $1.5 million per week, which is worse than the average weekly losses from the whole of last year, according to a new report filed by Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives,” which owns KentuckyOne.

Jewish Hospital in downtown Louisville (Photo from KHN)

CHI said it still expects its Louisville-area assets to be completed by June 30, 2019, but unnamed “sources have told Insider that the deal is in trouble and that some parties are planning for the facility’s closure,” Ladwig reports. “About a year ago, the health system said that it had entered exclusive negotiations with New York-based alternative asset management firm BlueMountain Capital Management. Spokesmen for both KOH and BMC told Insider via email Friday that the parties remained in productive discussions.”

However, the parties declined to answer Ladwig’s questions, “including whether BMC wants to acquire all of the assets, or whether it is trying to carve out Jewish Hospital,” he reports. “KOH also wouldn’t provide additional details on the performance of Jewish Hospital.”

CHI’s report combines the performance of Jewish with Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital. “It’s unclear from the report whether both are losing money, or whether, for example, a profitable St. Mary’s Healthcare is, at least to some degree, offsetting the operating losses at Jewish,” Ladwig reports.

“Sources also have told Insider that University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi recently traveled to Frankfort to seek help from state officials with challenges related to Jewish Hospital but was rebuffed,” Ladwig writes.

“Just days after that trip, Bendapudi publicly cited ‘the current uncertainty around Jewish Hospital’ as the impetus for the university having ‘begun a process of transitioning service lines to University of Louisville Hospital and elsewhere.’ A university spokesman later said that the institution merely was making contingency plans because of the impending end of an academic affiliation agreement the university has with KOH. That agreement, which was amended in February, calls for KOH to give UofL at least $35.6 million through Dec. 31 to pay for, among other items, 51 full-time resident positions at Jewish Hospital. However, that agreement is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, meaning the payments will stop.”

Ladwig reports, “Local health-care experts have said that the closing of the hospital would have far-reaching consequences for many parts of the Louisville community because the 462-bed downtown facility employs thousands of highly skilled and highly paid health-care professionals. It also takes care of tens of thousands of patients, many of them on Medicare and Medicaid.”

From Kentucky Health News

Related Posts

Leave a Comment