Philadelphia hospital bankruptcy leaves 1,000 physicians scrambling

Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia filed for bankruptcy and closed last year. The aftershocks are still affecting the nearly 1,000 physicians who worked at the hospital when it shut down, according to The Wall Street Journal.

American Academic Health System acquired Hahnemann from Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare in January 2018. Under Tenet's ownership, Hahnemann residents and physicians had insurance coverage that protected them from medical malpractice lawsuits, including those filed years after the alleged injury. After the acquisition, AAHS switched to a cheaper type of coverage that only shields physicians against malpractice lawsuits filed during the policy period, according to the report.

Many of the residents and physicians affected by Hahnemann's bankruptcy and closure have secured new positions at other hospitals. When the malpractice insurance provided by Hahnemann expires in a few weeks, the physicians have two choices: buy their own malpractice coverage or risk losing their medical licenses because they don't have insurance to protect them from claims arising out of their work at Hahnemann.

Insurance policies to shield physicians from malpractice claims cost thousands of dollars. The quotes one physician received ranged from $35,000 to $65,000, he told The Wall Street Journal.

In court documents filed Jan. 2, Hahnemann's lawyers argue the hospital is not required to provide malpractice coverage and that it doesn't have the funds to do so. The judge presiding over the bankruptcy case has demanded Hahnemann explain why the case shouldn't be converted from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy into a Chapter 7.

A hearing in the bankruptcy case is scheduled for Jan. 6.

Access the full article from The Wall Street Journal here.

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