The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati says two breakaway members need to start taking care of themselves, although the Health Alliance continues to appeal the ruling that allows them to leave.
Judge Fred Nelson ruled last year that 249-bed St. Luke Hospital East in Fort Thomas, Ky., and 177-bed St. Luke Hospital West in Florence, Ky., legally withdrew from the alliance on June 6, 2006.
The alliance filed a motion in Hamilton County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas asking Nelson to set Jan. 1, 2009, as a cutoff date for support services such as payroll, benefits and billing. St. Luke has not transitioned any service that the alliance was historically providing, the alliance argued.
St. Lukes lawyer, Kenneth Seibel, countered, Thats all true, but theyre not giving us the money to get away. St. Luke intends to merge with 476-bed St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Covington, Ky., but Seibel said the deal hinges on the resolution of the alliances appeal to overturn Nelsons decision. Also leaving the alliance is 511-bed Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, which has moved toward independence.
A financial statement filed with the motion shows St. Luke with an $11.5 million negative cash flow between the 2006 separation date and Jan. 1, 2008, which the alliance argues is akin to St. Luke receiving what amounts to a loan. Seibel said the numbers are deceiving because they reflect costs unrelated to St. Luke while excluding operating income St. Luke believes its owed. -- by Gregg Blesch
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