Hahnemann hospital ownership files for bankruptcy protection

July 01, 2019
by Thomas Dworetzky, Contributing Reporter
The owners of Hahnemann University Hospital have filed for bankruptcy, marking the latest development in a series of announcements indicating the imminent closure of the "safety net" healthcare institution.

Hahnemann workers held a noon rally last Thursday at Philadelphia City Hall to urge the state to help keep the hospital from closing.

"We take care of some of the sickest and neediest patients in the city, I can't imagine this corner without Hahnemann. I can't imagine the city without Hahnemann. I'm almost brought to tears, I'm so sad about this," pulmonary and critical care physician Dr. Robert Promisloff told ABC 6 in Philadelphia.

The rally of between 100 and 200 people, included workers from the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) — some holding signs that said "Patients over profits" and "Save our hospital" according to the news channel.

The news hits just a year after the 171-year-old hospital was bought by the American Academic Health System in 2018 from Tenet.

The Philadelphia Academic Health System, (PAHS), parent company of Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children stated Wednesday that due to unsustainable financial losses the final day of operation would be September 6th, according to news reports.

"My love and my heart go out to my patients. I appreciate the years I have serviced them," lactation consultant Sabrina Raheem told ABC News at the City Hall rally.

But the chance of a last-minute reprieve was kept alive by some.

"I'm still hopeful there might be an 11th-hour save; it's looking less and less," Josh Berger, CRNA, told the station.

Others acknowledged the complexity of closing the institution.

"There are so many moving pieces, I am not sure what the end result will be," oral maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Tom Nordone told ABC.

In April, 175 employees were let go. At the time the losses were said to be growing at $3 to $5 million per month, according to management.

In Wednesday's statement, Joel Freedman, the founder and president of American Academic Health Systems stated, "we relentlessly pursued numerous strategic options to keep Hahnemann in operation, and have been uncompromising in our commitment to our staff, patients, and community. We are saddened our efforts have not been successful."

PASNAP has urged an intervention by Mayor Jim Kenney, the Philadelphia City Council, the Pennsylvania Legislative Delegation, and Governor Tom Wolf.

“Hahnemann is a safety net hospital that for decades has provided care to an underserved community,” PASNAP President Maureen May, RN, said in a statement. “We cannot allow predatory, for-profit companies to plunder such a valuable public good. It is incumbent upon the state and city to step in and guarantee that the poor and working people who depend upon this hospital continue to receive the care that they need.”

The news led to a letter to Gov. Wolf from the Philadelphia House and Senate delegations that requested that emergency funding be found to save the hospital, saying the closure was a "bona fide public health emergency," according to NBC 10 Philadelphia.

"Other area hospitals simply cannot absorb the patients Hahnemann currently serves without compromising the quality of care they are able to provide. These are matters of life and death," the legislators wrote, according to the station.