Kentucky hospital's ex-chief of staff can't stop $361M sale to Baptist Health

A three-judge panel from the Kentucky Court of Appeals has tossed out a lawsuit filed in 2018 that sought to stop Louisville, Ky.-based Baptist Health from acquiring Elizabethtown, Ky.-based Hardin Memorial Hospital, according to Louisville Business First.

Baptist Health and Hardin Memorial received approval for the $361.4 million deal from the Hardin County (Ky.) Fiscal Court in May 2018. However, Larry Hall, MD, Hardin Memorial's former chief of staff, filed a civil suit claiming the sale was negotiated in secret, and that the court's approval should be declared void and set aside.

Hardin Circuit Court Judge Kelly Mark Easton presided over the case and upheld the process used in the deal in October 2018. Dr. Hall appealed the decision two weeks later.

On Sept. 20, the Kentucky Court of Appeals denied Dr. Hall's request that the transaction be enjoined. The three-judge panel also rejected Dr. Hall's claims that the deal was reached in secret in violation of Kentucky's open meetings laws, according to Louisville Business First.

The acquisition, which was originally slated to close in December 2018, was put on hold during the appeal. The transaction can now move forward.

"This is a resounding victory for our patients, our 2,800+ team members and our entire community," Hardin Memorial Health President and CEO Dennis Johnson said in a statement to Louisville Business First. "We cared for more patients than ever in nearly every service area and improved patient experience scores, so imagine what we can accomplish for patients with the power of Baptist Health fully behind us."

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