By Lorie Hailey
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2012) — The University of Louisville continues to have “productive and meaningful dialogue” with possible partners for University Hospital, but a decision is not likely to be made soon, officials said today in a statement.
Discussions may continue until the end of the year.
In February, UofL issued a request for proposals to identify potential partners to work with the nonprofit medical center and UofL’s downtown health sciences center. The university is seeking a five-year contract with “a business partner that will bring capabilities, experience and commitment to include but not be limited to: critical care, facilities/operations, teaching/training and research.”
A decision on the proposals first was expected by April 16, but UofL remains in negotiations with respondents and discussions likely will “move past this September,” said Jim Taylor, UMC president and chief executive officer, and Dr. David L. Dunn, UofL executive vice president for health affairs, in a joint statement released today.
Significant progress is being made, they said, and the “additional time will result in a more solid relationship that is in the best interest of the hospital and cancer center, our staff, and the Louisville community,” the statement said.
“Our potential partners share our commitment to ensuring the continuation of all University Medical Center and UofL Health Sciences Center services and addressing the issues raised by the Governor and Attorney General last year,” Taylor and Dunn said. “The respondents also commit to ensuring that University Medical Center and the UofL Health Sciences Center can continue providing the highest quality care for all patients, educating tomorrow’s health care professionals, and creating the knowledge to heal.”
The university began looking for partners after Gov. Steve Beshear prevented University Medical Center and UofL Hospital from joining the merger of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare Inc. and Saint Joseph Health System to form KentuckyOne Health Inc.
The merger was necessary to expand and make improvements to the hospital, and help it be more competitive, UofL officials had said.