22 hospital bankruptcies in 2019

From reimbursement landscape challenges to dwindling patient volumes, many factors lead hospitals to file for bankruptcy.

Here are 22 hospitals and health systems that filed for bankruptcy in 2019, beginning with the most recent.

1. Americore Health and its four affiliated hospitals in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 30. The bankruptcy petitions state that three of the hospitals — Ellwood Medical Center in Ellwood City, Pa., St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis and Izard County Medical Center in Calico Rock, Ark. — each entered bankruptcy with less than $50,000 in assets and less than $50,000 in liabilities. Pineville (Ky.) Medical Center's assets total between $1 million and $10 million, and its liabilities are within the same range, according to the bankruptcy petition.

2. Walker County Hospital Corp., which does business as Huntsville (Texas) Memorial Hospital, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 11. Significant financial losses and failed attempts to create a network of clinics are among the factors that pushed WCHC, a private nonprofit organization, into bankruptcy.

3. Lockport, N.Y.-based Eastern Niagara Hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 7. The hospital took several steps to cut costs before entering bankruptcy, including eliminating jobs and shutting down its maternity unit. Hospital leadership said the bankruptcy process will allow the organization to address legacy debt obligations.

4. Southcross Hospital in San Antonio, two freestanding emergency rooms and their operator filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Nov. 3. At that time, the organizations had more than $10 million in debt.

5. Williamson (W.Va.) Memorial Hospital entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 21. In its bankruptcy petition, Williamson Memorial Hospital listed its assets as between $1 million and $10 million and listed its liabilities as within the same range.

6. Calais (Maine) Regional Hospital entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sept. 17. At that time, the 25-bed hospital owed roughly $25 million to nearly 1,900 creditors. According to documents filed in the bankruptcy case, Calais Regional Hospital has incurred losses for several years and faces a cash shortfall that requires restructuring of its balance sheet. The hospital's CEO said he hopes the bankruptcy process will allow the hospital to restructure its debts and implement operational changes to remain open.

7. Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill., filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation Aug. 6. Los Angeles-based Pipeline Health acquired the hospital from Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare in January 2019. Pipeline revealed plans to shut down Westlake Hospital a few weeks after the transaction closed, saying financial losses exceeded projections. The hospital closed in August.

8. Philadelphia Academic Health System and a few of its subsidiaries, including Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 30. Hahnemann University Hospital closed in September, and PAHS sold St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

9. Springfield (Vt.) Medical Care Systems filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 26. The health system includes 25-bed Springfield (Vt.) Hospital and nine community health centers.

10. Astria Health, a three-hospital health system based in Sunnyside, Wash., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 6. In a press release issued in May, the health system said it is facing a significant shortfall in cash flow due to issues with the company it contracted with to manage its billing in August 2018. Astria said the unidentified company failed to process a significant number of accounts receivable, leading to a backlog of unpaid claims.

11. De Queen (Ark.) Medical Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 3. The hospital, owned by an affiliate of Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, entered bankruptcy after facing financial challenges for months. The hospital closed May 7.

12. Prague (Okla.) Community Hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 21. A judge allowed a new company to take over management of Prague Community Hospital in early March after the hospital experienced payroll issues and lacked funds for supplies.

13. I-70 Community Hospital in Sweet Springs, Mo., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 21. The bankruptcy filing came after CMS ended its provider agreement with the hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS. I-70 Community Hospital suspended its license on Feb. 15. Although the hospital said the suspension would last no longer than 90 days, the hospital remains shuttered.

14. Oswego (Kan.) Community Hospital entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 17. The bankruptcy filing came after the hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS, abruptly closed Feb. 14.

15. Haskell County Community Hospital in Stigler, Okla., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 17. The hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS, entered bankruptcy with less than $50,000 in assets and at least $1 million in liabilities.

16. Drumright (Okla.) Regional Hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 17. The hospital entered bankruptcy with less than $50,000 in assets and upward of $10 million in estimated liabilities.

17. Fairfax (Okla.) Community Hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 17. The hospital entered bankruptcy with less than $50,000 in assets and at least $1 million in liabilities.

18. Horton (Kan.) Community Hospital entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 14, just two days after it closed. The 25-bed critical access hospital, owned by EmpowerHMS, shut down after struggling to pay utilities and missing payroll for several weeks.

19. Hillsboro (Kan.) Community Hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 13. At that time, the hospital owed more than $334,000 in real estate taxes, making the Marion County (Kan.) Treasurer the unsecured creditor with the largest claim against the hospital.

20. Lauderdale Community Hospital in Ripley, Tenn., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 8. The hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS, faced financial challenges for months, and a federal judge appointed a receiver to oversee the hospital's finances in February.

21. Washington County Hospital in Plymouth, N.C., entered bankruptcy in February after creditors filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. The hospital, owned by an affiliate of EmpowerHMS, missed payroll Feb. 8 and suspended all medical services Feb. 14.

22. Penobscot Valley Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Lincoln, Maine, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Jan. 29. "We have made tremendous strides over the last three years in bringing our operational costs in line with revenue," Hospital CEO Crystal Landry said in a press release. "Legacy debt is the issue here, and Chapter 11 allows us to restructure that debt so we can keep our doors open and ensure that our community continues to have a hospital close to home."

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