Hospital officials said the deal would provide financial stability, and despite not seeing statements, the board said their rationale could “very well be valid and that a relationship exists between financial stability of healthcare organizations and continued access to care, especially given the dramatic changes in the healthcare delivery system occurring across the nation, including here in Louisville.”
The 11-member group's main recommendation was to establish a monitoring system if the deal gains approval. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and the Roman Catholic Church still need to give their OKs.
The board, which sought citizen input via public forums held in October, also raised the question of accessibility, as University Hospital is the city's main safety-net facility. Reproductive services won't be offered at the three hospitals, but will be shifted to another nearby facility. Even though the parties agreed to make free shuttle buses available for patients needing those services, the board worried about creating an access barrier.
The hospitals were lauded for answering community questions. The board said of the 189 questions submitted, 71, or 37.5% regarded reproductive services and 53, or 28% pertained to financials. The board also received four questions about same-sex couples would be allowed to visit their partners in the hospital.