UofL said on Monday that it had failed to find a suitable partner to buy the struggling Jewish Hospital and other Louisville medical facilities — at least so far.
However, the university said it plans to continue the search with the help of a private health care investment firm and hopes to complete the process by June 30.
The university on Feb. 19 had issued a request for proposal, a formal step to identifying a potential partner to acquire up to nine facilities, though the scope of any purchase, a potential purchase price and details about cooperation among the parties had yet to be determined.
The RFP “did not produce a suitable partnership,” UofL President Neeli Bendapudi said in a news release Monday. “Several potential partners told us they simply needed more time to review the opportunity and present a strong proposal.”
A health care expert had told Insider that he believed the university would struggle to find many parties interested in responding to the RFP, in part because of its narrow time frame. Potential partners had a response time of just 13 business days.
Bendapudi said that the university was changing its approach “given the importance of the decision and the limited time in which to make it.”
“Cain Brothers, the private healthcare investment banking firm we have hired, will work with UofL Health (UofL Physicians and UofL Hospital) to directly engage these key potential partners in detailed conversations,” she said.
Bendapudi also said that CommonSpirit, the properties’ owner, also had agreed to extend the affiliation agreement with UofL for 90 days. That agreement had been slated to expire on Monday.
A university spokesman told Insider via email that the institution would not say anything at this time beyond the information provided in Bendapudi’s statement.
Last year, an amended academic affiliation agreement between the parties called for CommonSpirit, then Catholic Health Initiatives, to pay the university about $35.7 million for an 18-month period that ended April 1 to fund, among other things, 51 resident positions at Jewish Hospital.
The medical facilities, especially Jewish, are critical to the university and serve as a staging area for many School of Medicine-related functions. The hospital has been struggling financially, and prolonged discussions between Catholic Health/CommonSpirit and the prospective buyer BlueMountain Capital Management had raised doubts about the facility’s survival.
Local health care experts have said that the loss of Jewish Hospital would have far-reaching consequences for many parts of the Louisville community because the 462-bed downtown facility employs thousands of highly skilled and highly paid health care professionals and takes care of tens of thousands of patients, many of them on Medicare and Medicaid.