Thu September 5, 2013
Norton Healthcare Rejects U of L's 30-Day Demands, Risking Lawsuit
Arguments continue this week over the recently announced partnership between Norton Healthcare and the UK Healthcare.
Norton has rejected demands made by the University of Louisville to end its recently-announced pediatric services agreement with UK, and to instead negotiate with U of L.
The dispute is over the use of Kosair Children’s Hospital, which Norton owns but sits on state-owned land that must be used to benefit U of L and the citizens of Kentucky.
The question remains whether Norton can also partner with UK.
This week Norton sent a letter to U of L saying the school’s allegations that Norton was violating the land-lease agreement it has with the state held no merit. It said Norton would not end its partnership with UK.
U of L officials responded by saying they’re disappointed and again suggested legal action would be taken if they couldn’t come to an agreement.
Here's the full response from Dr. David Dunn, UofL executive Vice President for health affairs:
We are highly disappointed that Norton will not follow the University's example and take steps toward a middle ground. Obviously, we hold a very different position than Norton and continue to hope they will come to the table and not let their inflexibility result in the need for legal action.
Despite Norton's refusal to meet and negotiate a mutually beneficial solution, the UofL physicians who see the overwhelming majority of patients at Kosair, will continue to provide the great care that has made Kosair a nationally recognized leader in children's health care.
Last week, U of L sent Norton a 30 day demand letter to end its UK agreement and to negotiate a new contract with U of L that would secure its own partnership. But Norton says without withdrawing the demand letter, negotiations couldn’t exist on equal grounds.
The Attorney General’s office says U of L has requested it look into the matter. They've responded to WFPL's request for comment by saying, “We have received the opinion request from the University of Louisville, and at this time, the request is under review.”