The anticipated announcement that Norton Healthcare would change the name of its Children’s Hospital following the settlement of its legal dispute with Kosair Charities was made today. On November 10 the, former Kosair Children’s Hospital will be named Norton Children’s Hospital. The new name follows the format used by Norton’s other local hospitals. The Kosair appellation will also be dropped from other healthcare facilities that shared names including outpatient centers, a women’s and children’s hospital, and a network of pediatric medical general and specialty practices.
According to today’s press release:
“In 1981, the Kosair Charities Committee and Norton-Children’s Hospital entered into an agreement whereby the Kosair name would be used on the hospital. Following a mutual decision in late June 2016 to end the naming rights agreement, Norton Healthcare and Kosair Charities agreed that the name Kosair would be removed from all Norton-owned facilities and medical practices.” and…
“We thank Kosair Charities and its members for their support and dedication to the Commonwealth’s children,” [Hospital President] Kmetz said. “Both organizations remain committed to meeting children’s health care needs. We will now pursue that focus independently.”
And so, what began as an amicable partnership that became a major focus of Kosair Charities’ fundraising efforts, ends deceptively gently after an acrimonious legal dispute initiated by Kosair Charities. For a relatively small contribution towards charitable care in the Children’s Hospital, Kosair Charities had a top billing in the name of the largest and most respected children’s healthcare network in the state. Continue reading “There Is A New Hospital in Louisville!”
I have been advised by two sources that KentuckyOne Health will soon announce the elimination of several system-wide or senior executive positions designed to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and emphasize local leadership. The as-yet unconfirmed names of the individuals currently in those positions include clinical and operational executives at the highest level. I am unaware if the names of included leadership comprise a complete list or represent the tip of the iceberg of things to come. Perhaps as an early indicator, the senior physician executive at Jewish and Sts. Mary & Elisabeth Hospitals left that position a few weeks ago. As a company outsider, it is impossible to know all the reasons for changes in personnel. These often include the personal career plans of the employee, but also concerns about the fit between employer and employee in meeting the goals of the particular corporation. KentuckyOne may well once again be feeling financial pressures that cannot be denied. It has laid-off employees in the past to decrease expenses – a strategy that in the longer run was not entirely successful at University Hospital.
On the other hand.
One of the most common complaints I hear from my University of Louisville colleagues reflects what is considered to be unwanted and disruptive outsourcing or other “outsider intrusion” on the part of Catholic Health Initiatives or KentuckyOne management that does not allow for appropriate local initiative or control, or which treats all hospitals the same no matter where they are located, or fails to acknowledge the particular needs of their patient population. From this perspective, a diminution of the role of system-wide executives might be considered a worthwhile result. On the other hand, I suppose it is possible that a state-level KentuckyOne system control might be replaced by even more direct CHI control from Colorado! The desire for local control is, however, at odds with current national and local policy, or financial pressures for hospital and health system consolidation and coordination. The health of KentuckyOne and its partnership with the University of Louisville is a matter of critical concern for Jefferson County and the Commonwealth. Things have not been going well so far. Continue reading “KentuckyOne Poised To Announce Layoffs of Senior Executives.”
My cup runneth over with potential issues to explore.
June has been a busy month both locally and nationally insofar as things I like to write about. The shame-on-me is that I have not carved out enough time to do so! In part I am still picking up the pieces after my early spring travels. Exploring how to unpack and deal with the new Medicare prescription drug data base also took a lot of time. The truth is that I am a slow writer handicapped by a default and probably over-wordy professorial style. I haven’t even been able to update the Institute’s Facebook and Twitter pages! What follows is a list of things that occured during the month that I wanted to write about and hope to do so in more detail later. These are not necessarily in chronological order or of importance.
The Supremes Rock & Rule!
We were presented with two back-to-back major decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. The first, King v. Burwell, allows federal subsidies of health insurance premiums for low income individuals and their families to continue even if their insurance was purchased in states that chose to allow the federal government to operate their health insurance exchanges. The lawsuit brought by Obama/Obamacare-haters to limit premium support to insured individuals in states like Kentucky that chose to operate their own exchanges would have essentially gutted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and tossed millions back into the uninsured category. For the time being, Obamacare stands intact for at least the next year and a half, despite promises by opponents to throw up additional challenges. All our legislators should be working together to deal with a major remaining deficiency of the ACA. The Act has been very successful in decreasing the number of uninsured people, but it makes little headway against the exploding costs of unnecessary, marginally effective, or for that matter even necessary medical care. Continuing to forbid the federal government to negotiate over the prices of drugs is a case in point. Subsidies were deemed necessary for a reason! Continue reading “Potpourri of Health Policy Issues in June.”
Kentucky unlikely to be spared.
Tamara Chuang of the Denver Post reported yesterday of an announcement by CHI confirming the 1500 additional job cuts planned for January 2015. Laura Ungar of our own Courier-Journal was ahead of the game in reporting this considerable reduction.
From Denver: “As a result of lower-than-expected operating and financial performance in the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year, Catholic Health Initiatives and its market organizations will take action to reduce expenses across the system,” said spokesman Michael Romano. “The losses were due to a number of external and internal factors, including reduced utilization of services.”
The positions to be cut will be announced in mid-January are said to focus on administrative and support staff and to affect the entire national enterprise. Given that KentuckyOne Health is one of the larger of CHI’s regional operations and continues to produce the largest financial losses, it must be assumed that additional job cuts will follow the 500 or so lost last March in Kentucky.
This unfortunate news is not a complete surprise. CHI’s financial report for FY 2014 released last month showed a slowing of recent losses, but KentuckyOne was the only region of CHI losing money. The profit from operations nationwide was razor-thin. I am unaware of how the earlier job cuts were spread out around the state, but I am told that the cuts hurt, and even led to decreased clinical capacity in some facilities. The required formal financial report for the first quarter of FU 2015 will not be available until the end of the month. It should contain more specifics.
Peter Hasselbacher, MD
December 7, 2014