TOPEKA – (October 2, 2017) – The attorney general’s office will accept public comments starting this week on the proposed sale of St. Francis Hospital, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today. Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, Inc., has announced plans to sell the hospital to Topeka Health System, LLC, a joint venture between the University of Kansas Hospital Authority and Ardent Health Partners, LLC.
The public comment period is the next step in the attorney general’s review of the terms of the proposed sale. Under Kansas law, the attorney general reviews conversions of not-for-profit entities, such as St. Francis, to for-profit entities to ensure compliance with state laws protecting charitable assets. The public comment period is intended to allow members of the public and affected consumers to provide information to the attorney general on the proposed sale and the impact on health care services in Northeast Kansas – whether favorable, unfavorable, or neutral.
“Since SCL announced its intent first to close, and later to sell, St. Francis, we have been engaged in a thorough review of the proposed transaction to ensure compliance with Kansas law,” Schmidt said. “I anticipate the public comment period to be the final step necessary for our review, and I encourage anyone with information about the proposed sale and asset conversion to file comments and bring that information to our attention. The purpose is to ensure our review is complete and does not miss any pertinent issues.”
The two-week public comment period will open at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, October 4, and will close at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, October 17. That timeline will enable the attorney general’s office to review and consider comments from the community in a timely fashion. The parties to the sale of St. Francis have requested the attorney general indicate as soon as feasible whether he will approve or object to the terms of the proposed sale to permit the formal transfer of ownership.
Any comments that are filed will become part of the public record of the attorney general’s review. Any person wishing to file a comment may do so at the attorney general’s website at www.ag.ks.gov/st-francis, or by mail addressed to the Office of the Kansas Attorney General, ATTN: SFH Review Team, 120 SW 10th Avenue, Second Floor, Topeka, KS 66612-1597.