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Organizations Request Kentucky AG Reevaluate Public Status of University Hospital

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and The Courier-Journal have asked state Attorney General Jack Conway to declare University Hospital in Louisville a public institution and provide documents under the Open Records Act, according to a Courier-Journal report.

The request comes in the midst of a pending merger, which would combine University Hospital, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare in Louisville and Lexington-based St. Joseph Health System. According to the report, University Medical Center — doing business as University Hospital — refused to provide documents requested by the ACLU and The Courier-Journal. The hospital said it is a nonprofit corporation rather than a public agency, making it exempt to the act.

A 2006 AG opinion ruled that UMC was not public, but that opinion was delivered when Louisville-based Norton Healthcare and Jewish & St. Mary's were still partners with University of Louisville in UMC's governance. In 2007, Norton and Jewish & St. Mary's withdrew, and the ACLU now says such "significant changes in composition and operation" warrant a modified opinion.

AG Conway's decision is not likely to affect the pending merger, since questions other than open records are involved in officials' ongoing review of the deal's legality, according to the report.

Related Articles on University Hospital:

Role of Jewish Hospital in Kentucky's Catholic Merger Questioned
Kentucky's Baptist Hospital East to Take Over Tubal Ligations so University Hospital Can Abide by Catholic Directives
FTC Clears Pending 3-System Merger in Kentucky

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