Kentucky hospital's former chief of staff sues to stop $361M sale to Baptist Health

A retired physician and former chief of staff of Elizabethtown, Ky.-based Hardin Memorial Hospital filed a lawsuit to halt or postpone Hardin Memorial's sale to Louisville, Ky.-based Baptist Health, according to WDRB.

The hospitals received approval for the $361.4 million deal from the Hardin County Fiscal Court in early May. However, Larry Hall, MD, claimed the sale was negotiated in secret, and the court's approval should be declared void and set aside. In his civil suit, which names Baptist Health and Hardin County, Dr. Hall accuses the court of violating statutes when it passed a resolution allowing the county to sell Hardin Memorial to Baptist Health.

"Hardin Memorial Hospital would become kind of a referral into the Baptist system in Louisville," Dr. Hall said in May, according to WDRB, during a committee meeting to voice concern over the pending sale. The News-Enterprise reports Dr. Hall claimed that while it took the fiscal court nearly two years to make a decision on the sale, the court only granted 20 days for opponents to raise objections.

A spokesperson from Baptist Health told Becker's Hospital Review the system does not comment on pending litigation. Hardin County told The News-Enterprise it also does not comment on pending litigation.

Baptist Health's acquisition of Hardin Memorial is set to close Dec. 1. Baptist Health has managed Hardin Memorial since 1997, although the hospital remained under county ownership, according to WDRB.

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