Georgia hospital files for bankruptcy, OKs sale to Prime the same day

Milledgeville, Ga.-based Oconee Regional Medical Center on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and approved the hospital's pending sale to Prime Healthcare Foundation, a public charity and affiliate of Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Services, for $12 million plus additional monies for liabilities, reports WMAZ-TV.

The financially struggling ORMC said in its bankruptcy filing it had liabilities of more than $10 million, according to the report.

ORMC's bankruptcy comes as the medical center has been in search of a buyer amid its financial challenges.

In an emailed news release, ORMC said the sale agreement includes Oconee Regional Health Ventures and will "ensure the long-term viability of the hospital, continued access to quality care, and retention of hundreds of jobs."

“Our goal when we began this process over a year ago was to maintain a viable hospital here in Baldwin County. We have accomplished that and, as a result, our community will continue to have access to quality care,” Steven Johnson, interim CEO of ORMC, added. “This agreement is the result of a lot of hard work by many people including our board members, employees, and medical staff. During a challenging period for the hospital, our team continued to deliver high quality patient care and helped us reduce costs, successfully positioning us for this opportunity.”

ORMC said the transfer of ownership is expected to take approximately 90 days, during which time it will continue operations.

The sale agreement will be reviewed by Georgia Attorney General’s office, and the medical center and certain affiliates have filed the necessary motions for the approval of a Section 363 asset sale in bankruptcy court, hospital officials said.


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