Exempla Healthcares board is suing to stop the Denver-based systems acquisition by one of its co-owners, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, a Catholic system based in Lenexa, Kan. In a letter to employees and doctors, Exemplas president and chief executive officer said the deal would limit certain medical services that are prohibited under religious and ethical directives for Catholic healthcare and divert roughly $311 million from hospital care to buy out Exemplas co-owner, the Community First Foundation, Arvada, Colo.
The Sisters of Charity and Community First dismissed the lawsuit as without merit in a prepared statement. The sponsors remain committed to completing the transfer because it offers the best means to strengthen local healthcare, improve patient service and support the health and well-being of the Denver community, according to the statement. Under the deal, the eight-hospital Sisters of Charity agreed to pay Community First $311 million and invest at least $300 million in Exempla.
The lawsuit, filed in the 2nd Judicial District Court in Denver County, isnt the boards first bid to block the deal. Directors unsuccessfully asked Colorados attorney general in November to stop the sale. Exempla includes: 172-bed Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, Lafayette, Colo.; 543-bed Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, Wheat Ridge, Colo.; and 436-bed Exempla St. Joseph Hospital, Denver. -- by Melanie Evans
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