Already the subject of three lawsuits, the proposed $311 million takeover of Colorados three-hospital Exempla Healthcare system by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System may enter a new legal arena as the Sisters of Charity plans to seek a court order requiring the parties to resolve their differences through arbitration.
Sisters of Charity also announced that, on Feb. 11, it will ask a Denver District Court judge to suspend all proceedings connected to a lawsuit filed Jan. 8 by Exempla seeking to block the transaction. Exempla filed another lawsuit on Jan. 25 seeking to set aside a legal opinion from the Colorado attorney generals office stating that the office had no legal grounds to block the deal. Another lawsuit to block the sale was filed Dec. 19, 2007.
Exempla is co-owned by the Sisters of Charity and the Arvada, Colo.-based Community First Foundation. Sisters of Charity has offered to pay Community First $311 million for its ownership share and invest at least $300 million in the system. The reason for the dispute is that, under Sisters of Charitys control, all Exempla facilities would operate under the Catholic Churchs Ethical and Religious Directives, which prohibit certain medical procedures. That would violate the 1997 joint-operating agreement under which the system formed, Exempla officials argue, but Sisters of Charity disagreed.
Exempla President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Selberg said arbitration options are being evaluated but added that, If they are willing to maintain the original (nonsectarian) heritages of those two hospitals, were willing to talk. -- by Andis Robeznieks
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your letter to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.