UofL Protests UK Moving In On Its Turf!

What did they expect?

There was a big fuss in the news yesterday and today. Norton Healthcare and the University of Kentucky (UK) announced an expansion of their clinical and academic interactions to include the pediatric services at Norton Kosair Hospital in downtown Louisville. The new announcement itself seems fairly benign– the only two children’s hospitals in Kentucky agree to share their expertise and quality protocols in service of the children of the Commonwealth. Norton Kosair is by far the larger of the two children’s hospitals in the state and has much to offer UK. Children could receive care closer to home instead of having to travel to Cincinnati, Nashville, or even further. The two hospitals will “remain separate, but will be operated jointly through collaboration.” It is anticipated that it will be easier to recruit pediatric sub-specialists to Kentucky, which is something of a problem now. An increase in clinical volume from retaining Kentucky patients instead of sending them elsewhere will help build experience and quality. Having a good network in place will facilitate the coming state Medicaid expansion.

Details remain to be worked out, but the project seems like more than a simple agreement to cooperate. For example, clinical operations will be coordinated and integrated including “clinical guidelines and patient care protocols, joint opportunities for teaching and research, and even integrating finances.” The new partners hope to further develop a statewide network of perinatal and neonatal care providers for high-risk mothers and babies, and developing more children’s outreach clinics in the state.” The medical staffs of the hospitals will not be consolidated and will have their own medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations. UofL is promised by Norton to continue to receive the academic support that it is due. How can this be a bad thing for the Commonwealth? Continue reading “UofL Protests UK Moving In On Its Turf!”