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KentuckyOne Health CEO: 'We are not planning to close Jewish Hospital'

Louisville-based KentuckyOne Health's interim president and CEO reiterated to employees Sept. 21 that officials are not planning for the closure of Jewish Hospital, also in Louisville, according to Insider Louisville.

Here are five things to know:

1. KentuckyOne revealed plans to sell Jewish Hospital in May 2017, citing "significant challenges" in the healthcare industry. In December 2017, the health system revealed it had entered into exclusive negotiations with BlueMountain Capital Management, a private equity firm in New York City.

2. In response to several news media reports, KentuckyOne Health published interim president and CEO Charles Neumann's memo to employees and an official statement on the issue Sept. 24. Both documents reiterate officials' stance that they "are not planning for the closure of Jewish Hospital."

"As we have stated many times before, BlueMountain and CHI/KentuckyOne Health remain active in discussions, and we hope to reach an agreement soon. The leadership teams of both organizations are meeting weekly, and sometimes more frequently.

"As with any negotiation before a deal is finalized, contingency plans are necessary if we cannot reach an agreement. However, those contingency plans are still in development, and will continue to evolve," Mr. Neumann said.

3. Sources familiar with the ongoing negotiations between KentuckyOne Health and BlueMountain Capital Management told Insider Louisville last week the proposed deal has soured and that Jewish Hospital may be at risk for closure if the deal falls through.

4. If the sale is completed, there is no guarantee Jewish Hospital will stay open, the report states. Insider Louisville cites BlueMountain's 2015 acquisition of El Segundo, Calif.-based Verity Health. BlueMountain sold the health system in July 2017; however, Verity Health filed for bankruptcy in August.

"Blue Mountain and friends promised to keep the six California hospitals open, but that did not happen," Peter Hasselbacher, MD, told Insider Louisville. Dr. Hasselbacher serves as the president of the Kentucky Health Policy Institute and was previously a professor at University of Louisville School of Medicine, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"I do not have a feel for what [BlueMountain] hope[s] to get out of a purchase of Louisville assets, but their goals may or not be concordant with the best long-term interests of Louisville or my medical school," he said.

5. In a statement to Becker's Hospital Review Sept. 21, a KentuckyOne Health spokesperson said: "Exclusive negotiations with BlueMountain Capital Management have continued since the signing of the letter of intent in December 2017. Leadership from both organizations have continued to meet weekly, and more frequently as needed. We are continuing to make progress and are working toward reaching an agreement."

To access the full report, click here.

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