Parallels to Louisville in Colorado’s “Merger Mania”

The merger between University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish & St. Mary’s Healthcare and Catholic Health Initiatives isn’t the only hospital consolidation pending in the U.S. Colorado Public Radio reports that this could be a record year for hospital mergers.

In a conversation on the show Colorado Matters, CPR health reporter Eric Whitney explains why mergers are so appealing. One big reason is the push for efficiency before the healthcare overhaul law takes effect. Whitney says the law favors healthcare providers that can offer the most service for the least cost. Large, merged entities could fit that description. The law could also lead to 30 million more Americans having insurance, but Whitney says it’s not entirely clear if smaller hospitals are seeking to join larger systems in response to the prospect of more patients.

As in Kentucky, religion plays a role in Colorado hospital mergers. A Catholic institution is seeking to absorb a public hospital in Colorado Springs. Whitney says if that happens, Colorado Springs will retain ownership of the hospital. In the local merger, there have been a number of questions asked about the ownership and management structure of the merged entity that will be created. Some of those questions may be answered in tomorrow’s Board of Health forum. WFPL will cover the event and post full audio of the forum.