U of L says agreement between Norton, UK motivated by money - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L says agreement between Norton, UK motivated by money rather than caring for children

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville says it believes an agreement between Norton Healthcare's Kosair Children's Hospital and UK HealthCare's Kentucky Children's Hospital could be motivated more by money than by caring for children.  U of L called the agreement, "troubling."

That's after Thursday's announcement that Kosair Children's Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital are joining forces.

Dr. David Dunn, U of L executive vice president for health affairs, says the university had been "attempting to work in good faith with Norton on the continuation of our master affiliation agreement for UofL Norton's Children's Hospital."  Dunn says U of L was not consulted before Thursday's announcement, and had tried to meet with Norton officials several times, "to no avail."

Thursday's joint statement said the partnership between Norton and UK would better meet the healthcare needs and interests of Kentucky's children and their families.

Norton Children's Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital will remain independent organizations jointly operated through the collaboration.  An independent consultant will develop a partnership plan over the next few months.

U of L pointed out care at Norton Children's is provided almost exclusively by U of L School of Medicine faculty.  It also expressed concern that Norton could be violating its land lease agreement, since Norton Children's is located on state property that is supposed to be used for the benefit of U of L.

Dunn said, "We remain skeptical that the proposed arrangement is anything more than an attempt by Norton to control resources and referrals and maintain its financial bottom line as one of the top ten wealthiest not-for-profit companies in the health care arena."

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