Hahnemann University Hospital’s license has been terminated, the Pennsylvania Department of Health notified the judge overseeing the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia facility last week.
“I am bringing the current situation at Hahnemann to your attention because I am deeply concerned about the state and security of the building and the supplies and equipment it is housing,” Secretary of Health Rachel L. Levine said Friday in a letter.
The hospital discharged its last inpatient in late July after Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children filed for bankruptcy protection in late June.
A joint venture of Tower Health and Drexel University has agreed to buy St. Christopher’s out of bankruptcy for $50 million.
It was not immediately clear what the license revocation means for the proposed sale of Hahnemann’s medical residency programs to Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals Inc. for $55 million. Federal Medicare regulators, who oversees such residency programs, have appealed to U.S. District Court to block the sale.
The residency programs, which had 570 doctors-in-training, receive Medicare money to pay the residents and are part of a hospital’s Medicare provider agreement. Under normal circumstances, the provider agreement and the residency slots associated with it would end when a hospital is no longer licensed.
Hahnemann did not comment on the revocation. Federal officials said they do not comment on litigation.
Lawyers for Hahnemann and Jefferson tried to convince a federal judge in September that Hahnemann would be irreparably harmed if the state revoked the hospital’s license. That didn’t make sense to U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika.
“The termination of Hahnemann’s license by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in bankruptcy would not be a preventable harm, but merely a state enforcing the law because the hospital does not meet the state’s requirements,” Noreika said during her oral ruling, according to a transcript.
Levine’s letter last week said significant work remained to be done at the hospital, including the removal of highly flammable chemicals, medical supplies, and laboratory equipment.
Some progress has been made by a “small team of extremely hard-working individuals,” the Levine letter said. “While I do not want to take away from the effort that they have put forth, the fact is it is just not enough.”