Governor says he'll quickly review UofL's suggestions to save hospital merger

01/05/2012 09:12 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear might have rejected the initial agreement for the University of Louisville Hospital to merge with two private hospital entities but the deal might not be dead quite yet, the governor told Pure Politics on Thursday night.

Beshear said he met with University of Louisville President James Ramsey, other university officials and Attorney General Jack Conway on Thursday.

Conway had recommended to Beshear that he reject the deal because it would turn over the state assets of the hospital to a private group. In this case, the entity would have been controlled by the board of Catholic Health Initiatives, which operates St. Joseph’s Health Care in Lexington. Jewish Hospital is the third health care firm involved in the merger.

Beshear said hospital officials on Thursday suggested several potential concepts to keep the deal alive.

“They talked about some possibilities that might allow the merger talks to get restarted,” Beshear said. He didn’t elaborate on what those possibilities were.

He said he has given university “three or four days” to look at some of the ideas university officials have suggested.

“One way or the other, I’m committed and the attorney general is committed to work with the University Hospital to make sure that we can keep them on good financial ground and make sure they continue their public mission of providing care to citizens of that whole area,” he said.

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