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Liberty Hospital, University of Kansas Health System finalize partnership

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Posted at 3:06 PM, May 01, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Liberty Hospital and the University of Kansas Health System announced details Wednesday of a new partnership in which UKHS will operate Liberty Hospital.

The announcement came after the Liberty Hospital District Board of Directors unanimously approved a definitive agreement in a meeting early Wednesday.

Under the agreement, UKHS will make $300 million of investment in Liberty Hospital over a 12-year period. The investments include technology, facilities and recruitment of staff.

The agreement outlines UKHS as the new operator of Liberty Hospital through the New Liberty Hospital Corporation. The Liberty Hospital District will continue to be responsible for the maintenance of assets.

"Patients will continue to receive the same care, from the same physicians and the same providers," Liberty Hospital CEO Raghu Adiga said in a press conference Wednesday announcing the agreement.

The two organizations started initial discussions about the partnership in May 2023, reaching a letter of intent to complete due diligence later in 2023.

"As Liberty and the Northland continue to grow, it is important patients can get the necessary care close to home," said Tammy Peterman, MS, RN, FAAN, and President of the Kansas City Division of UKHS. "This agreement will not only allow us to treat more patients overall but also offer access to those with the most complex care needs at 39th and Rainbow and other locations."

Peterman said KU Cancer Center services will be available to Liberty Hospital patients. She added Liberty Hospital employees will become employees of UKHS and retention of employed Liberty Hospital physicians and maintenance of open medical staff for many services.

"As the region's largest locally headquartered health system, we are committed to ensuring patients and their families in our region have access to the highest quality care close to home," said University of Kansas Health System President and CEO Bob Page. "As a health system, we put patients first in every decision we make.

"We are excited to have the leaders, physicians, nurses, other care providers and employees of Liberty Hospital join our health system and look forward to serving even more people in our region and beyond."

News of the proposed partnership initially drew concern from Missouri legislators, including Missouri Sen. Greg Razer (D-Jackson County).

Adiga said Wednesday hospital officials have "spent a lot of time" with legislators to inform them of the hospital's plans.

"We don't anticipate any legislative hurdles to this partnership," Adiga said.

KU's Page said UKHS officials reviewed Kansas laws and said they are "confident we're on solid ground."

The agreement is set to be finalized on July 1.