A judge in Hamilton County, Ohio, entered a judgment this afternoon mapping out how three hospitals will be cut loose from the six-hospital Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.
The hospitals470-bed Christ Hospital in Cincinnati; 217-bed St. Luke Hospital East in Fort Thomas, Ky.; and 177-bed St. Luke Hospital West in Florence, Ky.won their freedom in Judge Fred Nelsons courtroom April 16.
Nelson, in light of the alliances sustained refusal to acknowledge the effect of the Christ and St. Luke terminations, today ordered a third-party accounting of Christs and St. Lukes interests in the joint company and their assets and liabilities as of their termination dates last year, as well as the amount of cash and expenses theyve generated since those dates. Health Alliance also is ordered to pay attorneys fees of $3.3 million to Christ and $1.1 million to St. Luke.
The alliance quickly issued a statement promising to appeal the judges April ruling that the hospitals were within their rights under their joint-operating agreement to quit the alliance and that the alliance had breached its fiduciary duty to them. If the judges ruling were to go into effect, it could harm our ability to serve our patients, alliance board Chairwoman Gloria Haffer said in a written statement.
The alliance also is asking the judge to stay todays judgment pending that appeal, and he is scheduled to consider the request a week from today.
Christ Hospital spokeswoman Ria Davidson, meanwhile, issued a statement criticizing the alliances intention to carry on the fight. We think an appeal is very ill-advised, both because it lacks merit, and more importantly, because charitable dollars can be better spent on providing patient care than perpetuating this unnecessary and costly litigation. -- by Gregg Blesch