Philadelphia officials want to have a say in who buys St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children out of bankruptcy, according to a court filing Thursday.
If the city’s bid succeeds, it would become a “consultation party” on the proposed sale of the North Philadelphia safety-net hospital, alongside the main secured lender to St. Chris’s parent company and a committee that represents unsecured creditors.
“Given the dire need to sustain the services provided by St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, the sale of the hospital’s assets necessitates a totality of the circumstances approach to determining the highest and best offer,” the city’s filing said.
The “highest and best offer” in this case would not have to be the highest cash offer, but instead one that maintains what the city considers essential services at St. Chris. Those include preventive care, parental advice, developmental counseling, and other services at the Center for the Urban Child and St. Chris’s support for the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, which aids sexually abused children in a partnership with the city.
“The city is in a unique position to weigh potential bidders’ offers from a public health perspective as well as a financial perspective,” the filing said.
A consortium of Einstein Healthcare Network, Jefferson Health, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Temple University Health System has expressed interest in buying the 188-bed teaching hospital out of bankruptcy. Another likely bidder is a partnership including Tower Health and Drexel University.