By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President & General Manager
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The battle may have been won by hospital merger opponents, but they could lose the war.
University Hospital has been thwarted twice now in attempts to merge with Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HeathCare and St. Joseph Health System.
University Hospital's main missions are treating the poor and supporting the U of L medical school. The merger was needed for the Hospital to continue to do both at current levels and beyond.
Since nearly a quarter of University Hospital's patients can't pay their bills, monetary aid from the government is key to survival. Now without the merger and an infusion of money that it would have brought, more government aid will be needed at a time when government cuts are the norm. Without the added money, access to care will soon be limited and not as many services will be provided.
University Hospital says this year doesn't look particularly good from a financial standpoint and last year the hospital roughly broke even.
The merged hospitals will certainly be more viable and that is a good outcome for them and their home base of Louisville, particularly since the resulting KentuckyOne Health would be the Commonwealth's largest health care system.
We encourage KentuckyOne Health to further academic relationships with University Medical Center and hope the Commonwealth is able to provide more monetary support in the coming years.