California firm seeks to reopen bidding for Hahnemann residency slots with $60M offer

A California firm has said it would increase its bid to $60 million for Philadelphia-based Hahnemann University Hospital's more than 550 residency slots if bidding was renewed, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The hospital, which is slated to close in early September, announced July 10 plans to transfer most of Hahnemann's residency and fellowship programs to West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health.

But Einstein Healthcare Network, Jefferson Health and Temple University Health System, all in Philadelphia, teamed up with Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based Main Line Health, Camden, N.J.-based Cooper University Health Care and Wilmington, Del.-based Christiana Care Health System to place the $55 million winning bid for Hahnemann's residency slots.

That bid surpassed bids of Santa Ana Calif.-based KPC Health and Tower Health, according to the Inquirer. KPC operates a group of integrated healthcare delivery systems and has a system of hospitals that includes seven full-service acute care hospitals in Southern California.

The union representing 800 registered nurses at Hahnemann has denounced the $55 million bid for the hospital's residency slots.

Lisa Leshinski, executive director of the union, argued that funding for the hospital's physician residency slots largely comes from the federal government, and since the funding is tied to the hospital, a hospital that is not affiliated with Hahnemann cannot under law employ Hahnemann residents and receive its funding.

CMS has also objected. In a court filing cited by TV station WHYY, U.S. Justice Department attorney Marc Sacks said, "Hahnemann's provider agreement terminates with its closure, making it ineligible to be transferred."

Gary E. Klausner, a lawyer for KPC, argued for reopening discussions.

He told the Inquirer Aug. 14: "What we're really doing is signaling to everybody who we think are the important stakeholders in this case that there is an alternative to trying to beat CMS into submission. The alternative is to revisit the subject of selling the hospital."

Lawyers for Philadelphia Academic Health System, the parent company of Hahnemann and Philadelphia-based St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, and the unsecured creditors committee did not respond to requests from the newspaper for comment.

 

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