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Investigation into patient care stalls sale of 190-bed St. Louis hospital

The sale of St. Louis-based St. Alexius Hospital has stalled amid an ongoing investigation into the quality of patient care at the facility, according to The St. Louis Dispatch. 

The 190-bed hospital is owned by Americore Holdings, a Florida-based hospital management firm that filed for bankruptcy in December 2019. Americore has three hospitals.

In July, the bankruptcy court overseeing the case approved a proposal for Americore to sell St. Alexius Hospital and its assets to SA Hospital Acquisition Group. The sale of St. Alexius was expected to close no later than Aug. 21, according to the report. 

However, the potential buyer said it doesn't want to finalize the sale until the investigation into patient care is resolved. 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services began its probe after receiving an anonymous complaint about the quality of care at the hospital, which treats a large portion of Medicare and Medicaid patients. 

The state department's health inspectors visited the facility in August. After the visit, the facility was placed in immediate patient jeopardy, which is a situation where a patient suffered serious harm or could suffer serious harm based on the hospital's practices and procedures. The specific patient care issues identified by regulators were not publicly available. 

St. Alexius has submitted a plan of correction to fix the issues identified by state regulators, but a Missouri health department spokesperson said the investigation is still ongoing. 

The sale of another hospital owned by Americore, Ellwood (Pa.) City Medical Center, is also in limbo, according to the Ellwood City Ledger. 

There was no suitable outside buyer identified for the Pennsylvania hospital, which closed last December. This means its top creditor, Pelorus Equity Group, may be handed ownership, according to the report. 

Although Pelorus Equity may become the owner, the group would need to find a company to operate the hospital before it could reopen. 

The third hospital owned by Americore, Izard County Medical Center in Calico Rock, Ark., has three prospective buyers, according to court documents cited by the Ledger.

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