Letter of Intent Announced for Kentucky Health Care Network
Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare/Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services, Catholic Health Initiatives and its Kentucky-based operation, Saint Joseph Health System, University of Louisville Hospital/James Graham Brown Cancer Center and the University of Louisville have agreed to sign a Letter of Intent to merge into a statewide health services organization. The Letter of Intent follows nearly eight months of discussions and represents the next step toward the eventual creation of the network.
"It has become clear to us that we must apply our best thinking, share leading practices and pool our resources to reshape the delivery of health care in Kentucky. Our intent is to partner with physicians and integrate our services to provide patients with the full continuum of care," said Gerald Temes, MD, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services board chair.
Combined, the organizations will include more than 3,000 physicians and revenues of more than $2 billion. When finalized, the new entity will:
· Have statewide geographic reach.
· Include a capital investment by CHI exceeding $300 million.
· 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 of Kentucky that will have fiduciary responsibilities.
"Our vision is to use our ingenuity and collective resources to re-form how we deliver health care in Kentucky. We see this network as the means to implement a new model of care to improve the health of citizens and communities across the Commonwealth," said Kevin E. Lofton, president and chief executive officer of CHI.
As part of a new model of health care, the organizations are developing plans to address:
· Changes brought by health care reform.
· Medically underserved communities.
· Health challenges faced by Kentuckians, including cancer, cardiovascular problems, obesity and stroke.
· Innovative uses of medical research and technology, such as telemedicine.
· Training of medical professionals and a physician shortage.
"Through the creation of this integrated, comprehensive network, there will not be a health care need we cannot meet," said Gene Woods, chief executive officer of Saint Joseph Health System. "Each of our organizations has unique areas of expertise and we will bring that high level of care to more than two million patients annually at more than 90 locations throughout the state, ranging from critical access hospitals to major quaternary facilities capable of transplant procedures."
Since beginning talks in March 2010, the organizations have discussed equity, governance, the role of academic medicine, similarities of purpose and more. While no definitive decisions have been made, the undertaking is consistent with the respective missions of the partner organizations and the implications of health care reform. The leaders of all four organizations believe there is enough commonality to continue discussions and work toward a definitive agreement. While no specific deadline has been determined, this stage can take approximately 12 months.