By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer
COVINGTON - St. Elizabeth Medical Center plans to pull out of the Catholic Healthcare Partners group by year's end.
The change is expected to have minimal impact on services offered by St. Elizabeth but could have a future effect on how St. Elizabeth participates in health insurance networks.
St. Elizabeth, founded in 1861, runs Northern Kentucky's largest and most advanced hospital at its South campus in Edgewood. It also runs hospitals in Covington and Williamstown.
The Cincinnati-based Catholic Healthcare Partners includes 30 hospitals, 14 nursing homes and other services in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
Its members include the five Mercy Health Partners hospitals in Ohio. St. Elizabeth joined the partnership in 1998. But St. Elizabeth never did fully merge with the larger organization.
St. Elizabeth officials refused to confirm or discuss the change, despite reports published Friday about the decision, saying they had agreed to discuss the matter only in conjunction with a Catholic Healthcare Partners spokesman who was unavailable.
But according to financial reports on the Catholic Healthcare Partners' Web site, the change was approved in May by the St. Elizabeth board of trustees and takes effect Jan. 1.
As a fully independent organization, St. Elizabeth would be free to cut its own deals with health plans, which could expand how many people could use St. Elizabeth hospitals.
Or it could drop health plans that offer unfavorable payments, which could reduce how many people would have access to St. Elizabeth facilities.
Bronson: Not too long, not too good, not worth 50K
Neighborhood kids take camp into own hands
Radel: Prayer book is a 'conversation with us'
UC puts Huggins on leave with pay
Tape implies prior Huggins stop
Judge's discretion has guidelines
Bearcats lose their identity
Stress, crises took toll on coach
UC not worried about NCAA
Bearcats of seasons past standing by their mentor
OTHER TOP HEADLINES
Report advises police to record interrogations
Murder case has lingered since 1974
Super-salesman's product is the president
Warm personal relationship stoked fund-raising fires
Museum's first job: Explain what it is
Freedom center: What is it?
Health Foundation gives $1.5M to area agencies
Ohio short on money to process felons' DNA
Ohio Historical Society to cut 52 jobs
Utility won't take pay for flying Justice Rehnquist
Man sought in slaying of woman in Price Hill
Local news briefs
Autism's isolation broken
St. E exits Healthcare Partners
Festival shows homeless resources are available
Louisville art museum turns into global family album
Dumpsite may need specialized cleanup
Heart research center gets millions in funding
Vet admits heist at Keokuk bank; reasons unclear
Air show goes on despite weather
Teen volunteers help agency with maintenance, cleaning
Norwood officials rally support for levy
Ellen Mae Steele showed strength in cancer battle
Paul W. Huster Jr., lab chemist at Avon