An Ohio appeals court has rejected a request from the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati to delay a judge's June order for the six-hospital system to pay legal fees to three hospitals that a trial court allowed to leave the system.
The Ohio First District Court of Appeals on July 3 declined the alliance's motion for a stay pending an appeal of Judge Fred Nelson's April decision 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.
Nelson had instructed the alliance to pay the hospitals $4.3 million to cover the costs of the litigation but then offered to allow the alliance to post a $4.8 million bond instead as long as the hospitals were given access to their revenue to cover ongoing expenses.
"The trial court not only set a bond but also handed (Christ Hospital and the St. Luke hospitals) blank checks," the alliance argued in its motion. "The alliance would have to pay more to stay the judgment than it would have to pay to satisfy the judgment."
Christ spokeswoman Ria Davidson, in a written statement, repeated what has become a refrain in recent months. "We sincerely hope that the Health Alliance will cease litigating and work with us to move forward."
The alliance was disappointed with the latest setback and had not decided what the next step would be, spokeswoman Mary Beth Puryear said.
-- by Gregg Blesch