Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives is in the preliminary steps of merging its hospitals in Kentucky with those of three other hospitals in the state, according to the Denver Business Journal.
Under the plan, CHI would merge its eight hospitals in Kentucky with the University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HealthCare. CHI would also inject $300 million in capital into the new system, which has not yet been named. The new entity would have 2,700 beds and about 3,000 physicians.
Late last week, the University of Louisville board of trustees authorized President James Ramsey to sign a letter of intent to merge. During a presentation prior to the vote, Ramsey said a merger would help address medically underserved populations and a continued physician shortage.
"This addresses what is really a healthcare crisis," said Gene Woods, CEO of St. Joseph Health System in Lexington, which is a CHI entity. "No single organization has the ability to address the need."
Aside from its operations in Kentucky, CHI also operates 12 hospitals in Colorado and is a partner in Centura Health with the PorterCare Adventist Health System.
CHI and the University of Lousville are expected to finalize terms of the deal over the next six months.