There Is A New Hospital in Louisville!

nch-logo-500The 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!”

Who Paid UofL’s Legal Bills In Its Dispute With Norton Healthcare?

Why does it matter?

[The University responds. See Addendum and comment.]

The dispute over control if not ownership of Children’s Hospital was a traumatic event for our community. It damaged the reputation of the hospital. The cost of the consequent litigation must also have been great. My guess is that the financial cost to both parties must have been in the millions of dollars.  Although details of the legal strategies are masked behind attorney-client privilege, as a state institution, the amounts paid by the University of Louisville to its attorney, Stites and Harbison of Louisville, are subject to open records inquiry – and so I asked. What I learned was both surprising and of concern. Even with heavily discounted legal fees, the cost of their confrontational and ultimately unsuccessful initiative was more than the University anticipated.  Additionally, the bills provide insights  into the internal financial management of the University.

In short, the University admits to paying for only about one third of the many months of formal court proceedings itself, all of which were within the first 15 months of a 29 month period. The University has not yet been willing to disclose where the money for the majority of billing periods came from, or who wrote the checks. I have been dependably informed, but have not yet confirmed, that the money came from the University of Louisville Foundation and University of Louisville Physicians, Inc. (ULP).  This litigation came at a time of considerable turmoil at the University of Louisville, including the turnover of senior administrative personnel.  It is possible to speculate that lack of consensus over the University’s path in this matter played a significant role.  How this litigation was directed and financed offers a window into the administrative and financial workings of the University and illustrates the background from which today’s lack of confidence in the presidency of Dr. James Ramsey arose. Continue reading “Who Paid UofL’s Legal Bills In Its Dispute With Norton Healthcare?”

Details of Settlement Between University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare.

Congratulations are in order!

Last December 17, representatives of the University of Louisville, Norton Healthcare, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky signed a set of agreements that, for the next eight years at least, settle disputes over the physical, programatic, and financial control of the currently named Kosair Children’s Hospital.  Both principal parties pledge a new beginning and promise to work together for the benefit of our community.  I congratulate them.  All of us should take them at their word, and help in whatever way we can to honor their promises to each other and to us.  After all, Children’s Hospital is a unique and vital resource for our community.  This and related litigation has not been helpful for it.

In a series of articles in these pages beginning over two years ago, I made available to the public as many documents relevant to the dispute as possible to allow readers to form opinions of their own about the dispute. In this spirit, and in what I trust will be the the last installment of the series, I publish in their entirety the settlement documents which were kindly provided to me by the University.

In brief summary, it appears to me that both parties got most of what they initially declared was most important to them. Norton receives adequate protection against the threat of eviction from their hospital.  The Hospital’s medical staff remains open to all credentialed physicians in the community and Norton retains the ability to cooperate academically and clinically with the University of Kentucky.  The University is declared to be the sole academic sponsor of the graduate medical education program at the hospital and is assured of a predictable and generous flow of financial support – albeit with a greater degree of accountability attached.  One might reasonably ask then, why did it take so long to come to agreement? What changed in the recalcitrant endgame?  I will venture a few thoughts on this question at the end of this article.  In the meantime, here are the four documents with a few comments about each. Continue reading “Details of Settlement Between University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare.”

Norton Healthcare and University of Louisville Settled Their Dispute Over Children’s Hospital

Breaking News!

Andy Wolfson of the Courier journal is reporting that Norton and UofL have settled their dispute over Kosair Children’s Hospital.  We are all waiting to learn the terms of the settlement related to this important community asset.

Peter Hasselbacher