University of Louisville says KentuckyOne Health owes nearly $60 million
The University of Louisville claims KentuckyOne Health is behind by nearly $60 million on its obligations to support University Hospital and U of L’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The university also blames KentuckyOne for nursing shortages at the hospital that have caused “serious reputational harm to U of L” and recent executive firings that threaten the operations of the hospital and cancer center.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville claims KentuckyOne Health is behind by nearly $60 million on its obligations to support University Hospital and U of L’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
The university also blames KentuckyOne for nursing shortages at the hospital that have caused “serious reputational harm to U of L” and recent executive firings that threaten the operations of the hospital and cancer center.
KentuckyOne Health, a unit of Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, operates most of the hospital and cancer center under a 2012 partnership with U of L.
The university outlined its concerns in an Oct. 4 letter to KentuckyOne CEO Ruth Brinkley.
The letter, obtained in public records request, was signed by Greg Postel, U of L’s interim executive vice president for health affairs, and Joan Coleman, interim CEO of University Medical Center, Inc.
“We have been patient with (KentuckyOne) and have resisted taking this step,” Postel and Coleman wrote in the letter.
The letter says, for example, that KentuckyOne’s “particularly egregious” withholding of $17.4 million in “programmatic investment funds” is “seriously hampering operations of the Cancer Center, including the ability to hire a new director.”
In a statement, KentuckyOne Health said it remains committed to the partnership but that U of L is not holding up its end of the bargain.
“The vision for this partnership was meant to be transformative and not merely transactional. U of L cannot continue to expect to receive funding from donors and other investors without being accountable for achieving the outcomes and commitments that were foundational to receiving those funds,” KentuckyOne said.
The company said it has paid U of L $524 million since the start of the partnership in March 2013, but “U of L has not provided details on the allocation of tens of millions of this investment.”
KentuckyOne appeared to allude to problems at the university’s nonprofit foundation in explaining why it is withholding funds.
“Like many prominent organizations in Kentucky, we have questions regarding the University’s use of financial investment and seek further insight before continuing our planned financial obligations,” the company said.
The organization also took a shot at the university’s health sciences center by referencing the recent probation of U of L’s medical school and the absence of Dr. David Dunn, U of L’s health affairs vice president, who has been on administrative leave since December pending a misconduct investigation.
“Throughout all of U of L’s medical school probation, continuing education probation, leadership turnover, investigations, questions and controversies, KentuckyOne Health has been faithful to the partnership,” KentuckyOne said. “We look to the future, to our continued commitment to quality health care for the people of Louisville and to a stronger partnership where U of L shares responsibility and transparency.”
The Courier-Journal first reported U of L's letter to KentuckyOne on Wednesday. The letter is below: