Missouri state legislators are currently working to prevent a proposed merger between Liberty Hospital in Missouri and the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City. State Sen. J.R. Claeys has introduced a bill in Kansas that would require the University of Kansas Health System to obtain approval from the state legislature before making investments in facilities outside its borders, while Sen. Greg Razer is sponsoring legislation in Missouri that would restrict collaboration between Missouri hospitals and out-of-state health systems connected to higher education institutions.
The bill proposed by Sen. Razer specifically requires a supermajority of voters to approve any partnerships between Missouri hospitals and out-of-state health systems associated with institutions of higher education. Meanwhile, Liberty Hospital leaders began exploring partnerships with a health system in response to growing demand for healthcare services in the northern Kansas City suburbs, with the University of Kansas Health System emerging as the preferred partner by October. However, opposition from lawmakers in both states has faced potential acquisition of a Missouri hospital by a Kansas institution.