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Beshear Turns Down Revised Hospital Merger Proposal

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has again rejected a proposed merger involving University of Louisville Hospital with Jewish/St. Mary’s Health System and Catholic Health Initiatives.Last month, the governor found business consolidation would result in the loss of a public asset and blocked the deal. The merger would’ve put University Hospital under a contract inspired by Catholic doctrine that would have blocked certain reproductive health procedures and change employee benefits.But Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare and St. Joseph Health System in Lexington decided to moved forward with their portion of the deal and merge without the university. Since then, school officials had been lobbying and negotiating with Beshear to draft a deal the state would accept.From the governor's office: "Last week, University representatives offered us some ideas to address our concerns about the original proposed merger partnership. Attorney General Conway and I have carefully evaluated those ideas, but found that they will not satisfy our concerns about the merger proposal. University Hospital is clearly a facility with significant strengths. The Courier-Journal just reported that the Hospital’s 2010 profits tripled to nearly $13 million. Attorney General Conway and I share University Hospital's goals of continued quality health care, as well as solid financial standing, and we remain committed to working with the University to explore all appropriate paths forward for the hospital and for our Kentucky taxpayers."University Hospital leaders have said without the merger or additional state funding the facility could be forced to cut certain services.

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