Hahnemann Hospital bankruptcy complicates Philadelphia's bid to keep it open
Hahnemann University Hospital. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
The parent company of a Philadelphia hospital that began curtailing services over the weekend has filed for bankruptcy protection.
The Chapter 11 filing made late Sunday in Wilmington, Del. by Hahnemann University Hospital also includes St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
Allen Wilen, the chief restructuring officer for Philadelphia Academic Health System LLC, says the move will facilitate a restructuring or sale of St. Christopher’s, allowing it to remain in full operation.
Gary Samms, the lawyer for the hospital was in a Philadelphia court Monday morning arguing that in a proceeding there was moot and that if the city wanted to block the hospital from closing it would have to do it in bankruptcy court.
“All we can do is tell everybody that we have worked with everybody who has been involved, we have met the Secretary of Health, we have met with Drexel, we have opened it up to all the constituents. We are doing it according to the law and in concert with those parties,” Samms said.
Philadelphia City Solicitor Marcel Pratt said he still believes the case should proceed in Philadelphia court.
“The hospital needs the approval of the health commissioner before it can close. That’s a law that dates back over 50 years and we are here to assert that,” Pratt said.
The judge ordered the city to submit questions to the court by the close of business on Monday and for Hahnemann to answer them by Tuesday morning. It’s not clear how soon a ruling will come after that.
The real estate where the two hospitals are located wasn’t included in the filing.
Hahnemann has given notice that it will be diverting trauma victims to other facilities despite a state warning against taking steps toward closure. It has notified the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation that it was “de-designating” as a Level 1 and 2 trauma facility.
The 495-bed hospital announced on Wednesday it would close in September due to unsustainable financial losses.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Gary Samm’s name.
WHYY is the leading public media station serving the Philadelphia region, including Delaware, South Jersey and Pennsylvania. This story originally appeared on WHYY.org.