Five-hospital Norton Healthcare has abandoned plans to build a 40-bed cancer hospital in collaboration with the University of Louisville. Officials at both institutions said they could not reach a final agreement on the hospital, which was planned as an addition to the Norton Pavilion on the sprawling Louisville Medical Center campus and was expected to open sometime this year. Louisville, Ky.-based Norton had agreed to pay most of the estimated $10 million cost to open the facility. Since announcing the partnership last September, officials said they became increasingly aware of difficulties in meshing the roles of private, independent physicians in an academic setting. Although both institutions hoped the collaboration would improve the university's effort to win designation by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center within five years, they became concerned about costs and duplication, officials said. Norton, which already boasts the largest cancer-treatment program in the region, will establish the Norton Cancer Hospital on its downtown campus beginning May 1. The university will focus on its existing James Graham Brown Cancer Center. -- by Michael Romano
Louisville, Ky., providers call off partnership
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