Lawmakers delay study into possible UAMS - St. Vincent merger

LITTLE ROCK (Arkansas News Bureau) -- The Legislative Council put off voting Friday on a contract to hire a firm to further study a potential partnership between the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and St. Vincent Health System State so members could hear public concerns about the pairing at a meeting next month.

Sens. Joyce Elliott and David Johnson, both Democrats from Little Rock, said they had received phone calls from people concerned about how a partnership between the state-run hospital and the Catholic hospital would handle women's issue, including reproductive health.

The $720,000 contract between UAMS and Deloitte Consulting LLP to evaluate a potential affiliation between the two hospitals was recommended by the Legislative Council's Review Subcommittee earlier this month.

Friday, Rep. Larry Cowling, D-Foreman, co-chairman of the Review Subcommittee, asked that the UAMS contract be referred back to the subcommittee for further discussion. He said Elliott and Johnson had made the request so the public's concerns could be addressed.

Click here for more on this story from the Arkansas News Bureau.

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