House supports UofL purchase of KentuckyOne assets

David Osborne, left, and Joni Jenkins.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky House voted Wednesday to approve over $6.13 million in next biennium to facilitate the purchase of Louisville’s Jewish Hospital and other assets by the University of Louisville.

The funds would be appropriated by House Bill 99 to pay debt service on $35 million in bonds authorized for a state KEDFA (Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority) loan. The state loan funds—to be distributed by April 1 of this year—would facilitate UofL’s purchase of KentuckyOne Health’s Louisville-area facilities.

UofL acquired the KentuckyOne assets with the promise of a $50 million, 20-year loan from KEDFA. Half of that loan would be forgiven if the university meets certain criteria in terms of employment or service to underserved areas. The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and the Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation also are investing in the deal, contributing $10 million and $40 million, respectively.

The purchase includes:

• Jewish Hospital, including the Outpatient Center, Rudd Heart and Lung Center, offices and parking garages;
• Frazier Rehabilitation Institute;
• Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital;
• Our Lady of Peace;
• Jewish Hospital Shelbyville;
• Jewish Medical Centers East, Northeast, South and Southwest;
• Physicians groups affiliated with KentuckyOne.

All of the assets will be rebranded under the UofL Health umbrella.

HB 99 is sponsored by House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, and House Minority Leader Joni L. Jenkins, D-Shively.

Osborne said losing Jewish Hospital would put the UofL School of Medicine’s research status in jeopardy. A significant amount of the UofL medical center’s federal research grant funding is attributed to Jewish Hospital, he said.

“For those of us who represent areas in Southwest Jefferson County, this is a huge deal for us,” Jenkins added.

The KEDFA loan—named “the Direct Health Care Services and Research Facilities Operations Loan” in the bill—would be paid over 20 years, said Osborne. Loan forgiveness for up to half of the loan amount would be possible per certain requirements.

HB 99 passed the House by a vote of 86-7. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.