A judge in Hamilton County, Ohio, on June 20 declined to further delay the departure of three hospitals fighting for more than a year to get out of the six-hospital Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.
The alliance had asked Judge Fred Nelson to stay his June 13 order for the parties to begin settling accounts immediately, requesting time for an appeal to play out first.
Nelson ruled April 16 that 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.had the right to quit the system. Last week he entered a final judgment mapping out how they should divide their assets and liabilities, back-dated to the days last year when they said they wanted out.
Everyones time would be better spent focusing on a resolution instead of more litigation, Christ Hospital spokeswoman Ria Davidson said in a written statement.
Nelson also had ordered the alliance to pay attorneys fees of about $3.3 million to Christ Hospital and $1.1 million to the St. Luke hospitals, and June 20 he offered to stay the payment of those sums in exchange for a $4.8 million bond.
Alliance spokeswoman Mary Beth Puryear said the system disagreed with the decision and may try to fight it. We are entitled to appeal the decision denying the stay and will be deciding whether to do so in the next few days, Puryear said. She said the alliance is considering whether to accept Nelsons offer regarding the attorneys fees. -- by Gregg Blesch