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Comprehensive Statewide health care network status

by Smith,Ukiah A last modified Nov 11, 2010 03:55 PM


Today the University Of Louisville Board Of Trustees voted to endorse a Letter of Intent (LOI) that signals the beginning of the next level of planning for a merger among the University of Louisville, University of Louisville Hospital/James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, Catholic Health Initiatives and its Kentucky-based operation, Saint Joseph Health System. Over the past three weeks, the governing boards of the other organizations approved similar motions.

The LOI follows nearly eight months of discussions and represents the next step toward the eventual creation of an integrated, comprehensive statewide health care network to ensure high quality health care close to where Kentuckians live.

When finalized, the new entity will:

  • Have statewide geographic reach

  • Include a capital investment by Catholic Health Initiatives exceeding $300 million throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky

  • Expand the Academic Medical Center in Louisville to include the University of Louisville Hospital, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Jewish Hospital and Frazier Rehab Institute

  • Extend the research and teaching programs of the University of Louisville statewide

  • Be governed by a community board of trustees representing the Commonwealth that will have fiduciary responsibilities

One of the first objectives for the partners was to create a vision that would guide their discussions and serve as a foundation of mutual respect. That vision follows:

We are the premier, integrated comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth known for efficiently providing the highest quality care and service close to home; reducing the incidence of disease; and eliminating inequities in access throughout the communities we serve. With unmatched geographic reach, we are differentiated by our faith-based and academic heritage, developing the best next generation of healthcare professionals, and for being the fastest in translating research from bench to bedside. Because we are the most vital nationally recognized health system, we are the go-to organization for any major health policy initiatives in the State.

Since the beginning of these talks, the organizations have explored many subjects including, governance, the role of academic medicine in a new entity, similarities of purpose among the parties, and more. During the past several months the organizations have discussed how to best serve the current and future health care needs of the Commonwealth. As part of a new model of health care, the organizations are developing plans to address:

  • Changes brought by health care reform

  • Addressing the needs of medically underserved communities

  • Health challenges faced by Kentuckians, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and stroke

  • Innovative uses of medical research and technology, such as telemedicine

  • Continuing the historic commitment of providing medical services to economically disadvantaged citizens of the Commonwealth

  • Training of medical professionals and the physician shortage

Combined, the organizations will bring together more than 3,000 physicians and have more than 90 locations in Kentucky with combined revenues of more than $2 billion. Extending care throughout the state is a significant principle behind the groups’ efforts. The federal government estimates that the state will be short 3,000 physicians by 2020. Growing the educational and training opportunities for new physicians also will be part of the discussions.

While the discussions regarding this partnership are moving into another phase, much work needs to be accomplished before any final decisions are made. There are still unaddressed regulatory issues and a need to develop business and operational plans. All the organizations believe there is enough commonality to continue developing plans and will work toward a definitive agreement. A definitive agreement typically concludes within 12 months.

As we continue to work through this process, we will take every opportunity to keep you informed regarding any significant changes or progress.

For additional information on our potential partners, we are including an overview of each organization:

Potential Partner Overview

UofL Health Care is the region’s leading academic medical center - a comprehensive medical treatment, research and services organization. It combines the extraordinary resources of University Hospital, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and University of Louisville Physicians. All UofL Health Care services are associated with the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center.

Saint Joseph Health System includes Flaget Memorial Hospital, Bardstown; Saint Joseph – London; Saint Joseph - Martin; Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East, Lexington; Saint Joseph - Berea; Saint Joseph - Jessamine and Saint Joseph - LOInt Sterling. The system has 1012 licensed beds, approximately 5,000 employees and approximately 1,300 physicians on its medical staffs. Combined, the member facilities have received the following honors:

  • Recognized 18 times as being among the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters

  • Winner of the Joint Commission’s Codman Award for quality improvements

  • Named one of Kentucky’s Best Places to Work four years running

  • Awarded the highest honor by the Kentucky Center for Performance Excellence

Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2010, CHI provided almost $590 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of approximately $9 billion, CHI is the nation's third-largest Catholic health care system.

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare (JHSMH) is a regional health network that includes more than 70 health care facilities and more than 1,400 patient beds in Kentucky and southern Indiana. JHSMH provides a complete array of health care services including hospitals, outpatient care, occupational health, psychiatric care and rehab medicine. JHSMH also provides innovative home health care and specialty programs promoting the highest quality of life to families in Kentucky and southern Indiana and has been nationally ranked in the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agency providers. JHSMH has nearly 7,500 team members and employs a network of physician practices that provide both primary and specialty medical care.

The University of Louisville is Kentucky's premier metropolitan research university. Boasting more than 170 fields of study in 12 colleges and schools, UofL offers its 22,000 students world-class opportunities in many nationally and internationally ranked undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Through its service mission, the university is addressing the needs of Louisville and other Kentucky metropolitan areas with hundreds of partnerships in education, business and economic development, and healthcare. One of America's fastest-growing research universities, UofL is focusing on translational research that can move quickly from the lab to the marketplace.

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