The University of Cincinnati is asking for a seat at the table in deciding how 470-bed Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, will extract itself from its membership in the six-hospital Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.
The UCs intention is to help facilitate an equitable transition for all Health Alliance hospitals while preserving quality healthcare for our community, University President Nancy Zimpher said in a statement. In 1995, the school transferred management of University Hospital to the Health Alliance.
A judge ruled last month in Hamilton County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas that Christ Hospitals contract allows the hospital to terminate its involvement, which the alliance sued to prevent. The ruling also applies to St. Luke Hospital East in Fort Thomas, Ky., and St. Luke Hospital West in Florence, Ky., which also seek to leave the alliance.
The judge has yet to rule on a remedy that would guide the separation. A hearing is scheduled for Friday afternoon.
According to the universitys motion filed Wednesday, the late request to get involved was provoked by Christ Hospitals newly proposed remedies, which include a direct threat to dissolve the entire organization of the Health Alliance.
Christ spokeswoman Ria Davidson, though, said the only remedies Christ Hospital has proposed were outlined in a brief filed April 2, weeks before the judge ruled on the case.
University spokesman Richard Puff said alliance provides critical IT and financial services to its member hospitals.
We certainly are very interested in keeping those services going so those hospitals can complete their missions, Puff said. Were not saying dissolution of the Health Alliance is right or wrong, were just saying that we need to be at the table so whatever is discussed we can have an ability to voice our concerns or our thoughts to make sure healthcare in this region and our institution are not adversely affected.
The Health Alliance would welcome the university to the process, alliance spokeswoman Gail Myers said.
As the participating entity for University Hospital, University of Cincinnati is interested in protecting the charitable mission of University Hospital and the healthcare safety net in this community, Myers said in a statement. This is very important to the Health Alliance as well. -- by Gregg Blesch