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University of Louisville hopes to reach agreement by June 20 to take over Jewish Hospital

“After trying to sell Jewish Hospital and other local operations for about two years, KentuckyOne Health may finally be close to striking a deal, according to an email obtained by the Courier Journal,” Morgan Watkins reports for the Louisville newspaper.

Jewish Hospital in downtown Louisville (Photo from KHN)

Deborah Lee-Eddie, the interim CEO for KentuckyOne’s Louisville market, suggested to employees in the email that “they’re making headway in their talks with the University of Louisville, which is interested in potentially buying Jewish and other local health-care facilities, such as the Frazier Rehab Institute and Our Lady of Peace psychiatric hospital.”

She wrote, “The discussions with U of L Health have been very positive and have progressed to the point that we have now begun preliminary planning for the possible transition,” with a team led the university, which has a longstanding affiliation with the hospital. “More than 50 of the school’s medical residents and dozens of doctors associated with the university work at Jewish and the Frazier Rehab Institute, and all of the physicians who perform lung, kidney, liver, pancreas, heart and dual organ transplants at Jewish are employed by the university,” Watkins notes.

U of L spokesman John Karman told Watkins that the university hopes to reach an agreement by June 30 with the hospital’s owner, CommonSpirit Health, formerly Catholic Health Initiatives. U of L operates 400-bed University of Louisville Hospital, a general, safety-net hospital nearby; adding all the facilities in the KentuckyOne group would add 1,300 beds.

Concerns about Jewish Hospital’s future “have mounted along with its financial losses over the past few years,” Watkins recounts. “Last year, several local doctors and KentuckyOne staff members told the Courier Journal on the condition of anonymity that they were worried Jewish — which has spent over a century caring for patients in Louisville — would close if it couldn’t be sold.”

From Kentucky Health News

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