Hardin County approves $361 million hospital sale despite criticism
A deal to sell Hardin Memorial Hospital worth hundreds of millions of dollars was given the green light Tuesday night, but not everyone is happy with the plan.
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- A deal to sell Hardin Memorial Hospital worth hundreds of millions of dollars was given the green light Tuesday night, but not everyone is happy with the plan.
The Hardin County Fiscal Court approved the sale of Hardin Memorial Hospital by an 8-1 vote for a more than $361 million deal with Baptist Health. Members of the fiscal court also serve as trustees on the Hardin Memorial Hospital Board.
The majority of the sale, approximately $235 million, is for investments to upgrade the building, hire more doctors and purchase new technology.
A group against the sale voiced concerns that new owners could reduce services and funnel patients to Louisville for more specialized care. Mark Barrett spoke against the agreement, calling for more transparency in the process.
"If it had been handled different, I think it might have been a lot better for the people of Hardin County,” Barrett said.
Judge-Executive Harry Berry said county officials have been as transparent as possible.
"Because of the confidentiality agreements, we can't disclose who the other suitors were or what the offers were made from them, but we have announced publicly that this is the best deal," Berry said.
Gerard Colman, the CEO of Baptist Health, said the hospital group will actually expand care in the county.
"We want to keep health care in the community and then not take those patients and then ship them up to Louisville," Colman said.
The hospital will be called Baptist Health Hardin. The transaction is expected to close this year in December.
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