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Health Quest Offers to Acquire Assets of Bankrupt St. Francis Hospital

Health Quest, a three-hospital system based in LaGrangeville, N.Y., has placed a bid to acquire most assets of Saint Francis Hospital and Health Centers in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Saint Francis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday. According to the organization's Form 990 from 2011, the 333-bed hospital recorded a profit of $2.17 million on $148.3 million of revenue. However, according to a Poughkeepsie Journal report, Saint Francis has more than $50 million of debt. In addition, the hospital has struggled through a technology switchover during the past year, which cost tens of millions of dollars due to uncollectible bills.

Health Quest reportedly has offered to acquire Saint Francis for $40 million, pending the bankruptcy process. Health Quest officials said the hospital has obtained interim financing to continue to operate during bankruptcy proceedings. Any deal requires approval from the New York State Department of Health, as well as the bankruptcy court.

In a news release, Health Quest said Saint Francis "will not continue as a separate organization" but will keep pertinent services like trauma care and behavioral health. It's possible the hospital could become part of Health Quest's Vassar Brothers Medical Center, a 365-bed hospital located two miles south of Saint Francis in Poughkeepsie.

Officials at Saint Francis could not be reached for comment. In a news release, Saint Francis President and CEO Arthur Nizza said "by joining Health Quest, the critical services that Saint Francis has offered will continue to be offered in the future by Health Quest, pending approval by the bankruptcy court." Health Quest called the move necessary to keep high-quality care in the area.

"Health Quest believes that acquiring most of the assets of Saint Francis at this time is in the best long-term interest of healthcare consumers in our region," Luke McGuinness, the new CEO of Health Quest, said in a news release. "We all share the same goal of enhancing the quality and range of care provided to the patients in our community, and this proposal will meet that goal."

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