• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Legislative Roadblocks Threaten Planned Merger of Liberty Hospital and U.K. Health System

ByEditor

Feb 12, 2024
Lawmaker opposition jeopardizes KU Health-Liberty Hospital deal

The merger between Liberty (Mo.) Hospital and the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City is currently being blocked by lawmakers. In response to the proposed merger, state Sen. J.R. Claeys has introduced a bill in Kansas that requires the University of Kansas Health System to obtain approval from the state legislature before making investments in facilities outside its borders. Meanwhile, Missouri state Sen. Greg Razer is sponsoring legislation that would restrict collaboration between Missouri hospitals and out-of-state health systems connected to higher education institutions.

Missouri state Sen. Greg Razer’s bill specifically requires a supermajority of voters to approve any partnerships between Missouri hospitals and out-of-state health systems associated with institutions of higher education. Mr. Dennis Carter, president of the Liberty Hospital board, has expressed concerns that interference from legislators could result in the hospital being acquired by a chain, which could lead to the closure of its labor and delivery center and level 2 trauma center. He advocates for lawmakers to refrain from impeding the planned merger as it could have serious consequences for healthcare services in northern Kansas City suburbs.

During a Missouri Senate committee meeting, Mr. Carter spoke about the risks of the hospital becoming a part of a for-profit system rather than remaining community-oriented institution that was originally intended. Liberty Hospital leaders began exploring a partnership with a health system in response to growing demand for healthcare services in northern Kansas City suburbs by October, with the University of Kansas Health System emerging as their preferred partner

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