QUESTIONS IN KENTUCKY / State has serious questions about the proposed merger of the University of Louisville Hospital with two CHI subsidiaries.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has serious questions about the proposed $620 million merger that would combine the University of Louisville Hospital with two subsidiaries of Catholic Health Initiatives, a spokeswoman said. Two Kentucky-based subsidiaries of CHI—Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare, Louisville; and St. Joseph Health System, Lexington—in June proposed merging with the 329-bed University of Louisville Hospital. CHI would contribute $320 million in working capital to the partnership, plus invest $200 million for facilities improvements and $100 million in other services statewide. Allison Martin, spokeswoman for Conway, said he has questions about what would happen to any public property involved, since the University of Louisville Hospital has received taxpayer support. Conway also is concerned that the University of Louisville Hospital would have to follow the Roman Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives, which tightly restrict reproductive surgeries and end-oflife planning. “We’ve not been contacted by Attorney General Conway to date,” CHI spokeswoman Mary Elise Biegert said. “If we are, and it sounds like he is planning to make an inquiry, we intend to cooperate fully with him.” Kentucky does not require the attorney general to approve the transaction, but Martin said Conway could intervene as a party with the Federal Trade Commission. A spokesman for the FTC confirmed that the agency is “aware of” the proposed transaction, but could not comment on it further.