INDIANAPOLIS - Two major Indianapolis health care providers have called off their plans for a partnership, saying it would pose too many financial and legal hurdles, but they haven't given up all hope of working together.
The Indianapolis Business Journal said Eskenazi Health and Community Health Network announced Thursday that they still hope to work together, but that doing so would require a change in federal tax laws.
The pair announced plans in February 2013 to create a joint operating partnership to form common strategies, pricing and clinical efforts. The collaboration would have provided more access to primary health care than any other hospital system in central Indiana and would have been in a good position to draw business from people with fresh policies obtained through the national health insurance overhaul.
"What we initially conceived we now know is legally not possible. We regret that," Matthew Gutwein, chief executive of the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, the governmental agency that is the parent of Eskenazi Health, told the Journal.
The plan ran into problems with federal antitrust laws and rules for the special bonds Eskenazi sold to finance its $754 hospital, which were part of President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus package.
"After careful examination, the resolution of tax and bond issues would create such a cumbersome and complex structure it outweighs the advantages of integration," said a news release from the Eskenazi Health Foundation quoted in the Indianapolis Star.
Eskenazi employs about 4,000 people and serves mostly the indigent and uninsured in Indianapolis. Eskenazi's revenue was $465 million in 2013, which allowed it to break even.
Community employs 11,000 people at eight hospitals and hundreds of other health care locations around Indianapolis and in Kokomo. Its 2013 revenue was nearly $1.8 billion and profit from operations topped $54 million.
The systems hired lobbyists to petition the government to change the tax laws or the rules governing the bonds, but those efforts went nowhere.
But Community spent $25.5 million more last year on charity care than it did the previous year, and has been sending more trauma patients to Eskenazi. Thursday's news release said the two systems would continue in lesser joint efforts "to best serve the people of Indiana."
"It's not actually ended yet," Gutwein said. "We still would like to get a change in the rules."
Isolated downpours end this evening
Chances are much better than not that you stay dry this evening. Any isolated downpours fade away with sunset, which happens to be…
Crawling with kittens, cats at Animal Control
It's kitten season... and that means there are lots of pets that need homes at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.
Deadly shooting on city's northwest side
A person was shot and killed Saturday night on the city's northwest side.
Gov. Pence: "We can't keep doing the same thing"
“We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result,” Pence said. "We need a president who will lead…
Basketball coach arrested for drunk driving
Phillip Washington, head boys' basketball coach at Anderson High School, was arrested for drunk driving Saturday morning, according to…