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By Jessica Gaines Jarboe | Broker in Louisville, KY

Mergers Dominate Louisville Healthcare Scene

Louisville, known for its bourbon and history is also a big healthcare town too. Healthcare facilities and health insurance companies dominate the list of major employers and employ many Louisville citizens, as the healthcare sector keeps on growing. In healthcare, mergers is the name of the game, and Louisville is a player.


Why The Trend Toward Mergers?

Hospital mergers allow facilities have access to better equipment, improve electronic medical record systems, and provide better medical care at lower costs. In an era where reducing costs is a necessary challenge, mergers are an effort to reduce costly duplicate facilities and allow hospitals to have better leverage in negotiating payments from insurers. The process can be hard on communities, which have come to trust their local hospital. Mergers also bring up hot issues as to whether the new merged facility will continue to provide care to the needy and offer procedures, despite different philosophies, especially about reproductive care.


KentuckyOne Health Announces Headquarters


KentuckyOne Health, formed over a year ago by the merger of Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's Healthcare in Louisville and St. Joseph Health System, Inc. in Lexington, just announced that it decided to build its corporate office in downtown Louisville. The new system, which includes 200 hospitals, clinics, primary care centers physician groups, specialty institutes, and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana, employs over 15,000 employees, including nearly 9,000 in Louisville. The new headquarters take over space in the Kentucky One building at 250 E. Liberty St., near Floyd Street.


The move will result in 10 new corporate level jobs, but the extensive $5.5 million in renovations to the buildings will keep the Louisville construction industry busy all year. The move is a vote of confidence for Louisville, as the organization searched numerous rival sites in Kentucky and southern Indiana before choosing Louisville for its highways, airports, hotels and dining facilities as well as its location near other Kentucky one facilities.


Kentucky One also entered into a joint operating agreement with the University of Louisville. Previously, attempts for a full merger were rejected by the state, but the new arrangement will pump money into the University medical operations and guarantee a pipeline of doctors for rural hospitals. The partnership has made KentuckyOne Health the largest health system in Kentucky.


Big Changes At Baptist Healthcare


Meanwhile, the Baptist Healthcare system is changing its name systemwide to Baptist Health. Hospitals and other components of the system will incorporate the name followed by the location to standardize and "rebrand" its facilities. As a result, Baptist Hospital East St. Matthews will be renamed Baptist Health Louisville.


As is the case with KentuckyOne Healthcare, the Baptist Health brand includes many other facilities and sides from hospitals such as outpatient, urgent care centers, diagnostic centers physician groups and more.  The system recently grew to learn nearly 2500 licensed beds by incorporating the Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center from Richmond, Kentucky, and the Trover Health System in Madisonville, Kentucky. All members of the system will bear the group's new logo, for different colored leaves arranged in a square. The space between the leaves forms across that reflects the groups religious roots.


Baptist Health is also moving its corporate headquarters from St. Matthews to a spacious new building near Anchorage in the Eastpointe Business center. The larger space, made possible through donations of prominent local investors, will accommodate its growth. Built before the recession but never occupied, the Eastpointe building can be customized for Baptist and consolidate many worksites throughout Jefferson County.


Potential Changes Ahead For Norton Healthcare


Not to be outdone, Norton Healthcare Inc., Louisville's largest healthcare system, announced probable merger with Clark Memorial Hospital based in Jefferson, scheduled for 2014. The two hospital groups are discussing the terms to create a new system that will be accessible and facilitate patient care.


Great Hospital Performance


Louisville area hospital systems are not just getting bigger, there also getting better. Norton Healthcare ranked on the US news best hospital list in 11 high-performing specialties and was named number two in Kentucky. Baptist Hospital shared the number two rank and also has 11 high-performing specialties. Jewish Hospital ranked number five in the state, with both eight high-performing specialties. Meanwhile, the University of Louisville Hospital was ranked number seven statewide, with one high-performing specialty. Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Service in New Albany, Indiana has five high-performing specialties and is ranked number seven in Indiana.


All this leaves Louisville residents with great healthcare choices. Give me a call!  I’m Jessica Gaines Jarboe and I’m ready to work with you at Louisville Gaines Real Estate.

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