A judge has thwarted an attempt by Christ Hospital to force a total dissolution of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, an aggressive bid to end the squabbling over how to settle accounts with its former parent.
The same judge, Fred Nelson in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Cincinnati, last year ruled in favor of 511-bed Christ Hospitals bid to leave the alliance, but the hospital filed a new complaint in July after becoming frustrated with mediated talks over divvying up the assets. Also leaving the system are two other hospitals249-bed St. Luke Hospital East in Ft. Thomas, Ky., and 177-bed St. Luke Hospital West in Florence, Ky.and they joined Christ Hospital in the lawsuit.
But Nelson, in a written order delivered Feb. 19, declined to back their request to promptly dissolve the alliance and wind up its affairs, noting that Christ Hospital and St. Luke failed to address testimony from the remaining three hospitals that dissolving the system could ruin them.
We are very pleased the court today supported our position and recognized how critical the Health Alliance is to our community, Gloria Haffer, chair of its board of directors, said in a written statement.
Christ Hospital countered that the decision actually offers some good news for the hospital because it finds that the contract allows the hospital to argue for a financial remedy to its complaint. The outcome will pave the way for it to complete its transition, lawyer Mark Ruehlman said in a written statement.
The parties are scheduled to meet again with Nelson March 4 to discuss the path forward. -- by Gregg Blesch
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