Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear rejected the merger between the three healthcare systems late last week after Attorney General Jack Conway—who previously ruled University Hospital is a public entity—said a merger with CHI may lead to loss of control of a public asset.
Conway writes in this opinion that the merger “raises unprecedented and complex legal and policy issues. While some of the legal and policy issues have been addressed by the parties, many remain unresolved.”
Jewish/St. Mary’s Health System, which is a private entity, has struggled the past couple years, making 155 job cuts last August and losing two top executives amid merger negotiations. It now announces its partnership under the name KentuckyOne Health (logo pictured.)
Jewish/St. Mary’s CEO David Laird says the new board will consist of 10 CHI and 5 Jewish/St. Mary’s representatives.
“CHI in Kentucky has a lot more hospitals than Jewish had so it made sense that there would be representation so there could be knowledge shared from an experiential standpoint for the constituent members of this board,” Laird said.
CHI is investing $320 million to launch KentuckyOne Health and since January 1st this year, Jewish no longer offers sterilizations, said Laird.
This may have come as surprise to some, but this form of a merger has been in the works for a while, Paul Edgett, senior vice president of CHI.
As for merging with U of L, Edgett said conversations aren’t finished.
“We look forward to the opportunity to work within the constraints that the governor has outlined for us and we continue to have dialog with the governor on how we can make that happen…and there is definitely potential for that to continue,” he said.
Merger officials said they don’t expect to merge with U of LHospital, but may pursue some program partnerships with University Medical Center.