Prime Healthcare Withdraws Bid for Christ Hospital

Feb 02, 2012, 14:03 ET from Prime Healthcare Services

ONTARIO, Calif., Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Prime Healthcare has withdrawn its bid to acquire Christ Hospital, which is located in Jersey City, New Jersey, effective Feb. 1, 2012.  Prime Healthcare's decision to withdraw its bid was due to indications from respected local elected officials who wanted Christ Hospital to explore the option of keeping the hospital nonprofit and under local ownership. The delay will inevitably result in Christ Hospital likely being forced to file for bankruptcy protection due to its inability to fund its operations during this lengthy process.  Prime Healthcare was and is concerned that a bankruptcy filing will cause further harm to Christ Hospital, its employees and the community it serves. 

"Prime Healthcare, an award-winning health system, had hoped to play a key role in stabilizing the financial future of healthcare in Hudson County by acquiring Christ Hospital and investing tens of millions of dollars to upgrade its services, provide much-needed charity care and keep jobs in Jersey City," said Lex Reddy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Prime Healthcare Services. "It is unfortunate things did not work out the way we had hoped."

After months of hard work by all involved, Prime Healthcare and Christ Hospital had already reached an agreement with Christ Hospital's secured and unsecured creditors that would have resulted in a greater payout than the creditors are likely to see in any bankruptcy. They also came to an agreement with the PBGC [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation] that protected the pension benefits of Christ Hospital's employees. Because of Prime Healthcare's efforts, employee pensions are now secure. A bankruptcy will likely force creditors to receive far less than they would have received under the transaction with Prime Healthcare as the hospital will be forced to use its limited funds on professional fees and other bankruptcy-related expenses rather than creditors.

"We regret that a partnership between Prime Healthcare Services and Christ Hospital will not move forward.  Prime made a substantial investment of money and professional resources during negotiations to help keep the hospital solvent during a difficult financial time. We collectively owe Prime a debt of gratitude for the resources they have given Christ Hospital in recent months, allowing us to meet our financial obligations and provide essential medical services to the community.  Christ Hospital must now work through very difficult financial challenges, and it remains to be seen if there is another viable way forward," said Peter A. Kelly, President and CEO, Christ Hospital.

Prime Healthcare Services

Ontario, CA-based Prime Healthcare, recently recognized as one of the "Top 15 Health Systems" in the country, operates 14 acute-care hospitals in California and one in Texas. Prime Healthcare has received numerous awards for the quality of its patients care, including recognition from Thomson Reuters, the Joint Commission, the leading accreditation organization in the country, and Health Grades, among others.

Christ Hospital

Serving Jersey City and the surrounding communities for nearly 140 years, Christ Hospital is committed to being Hudson County's premier community hospital by continually adding state-of-the-art equipment and new programs to provide its patients with the highest level of quality and compassionate care. Christ Hospital is the only facility in Hudson County to offer IMRT therapy for the treatment of cancer and has recently opened a new maternity unit incorporating five-star care and amenities with state-of-the-art technology. In addition to medical/surgical care, specialty areas include: neurological and spinal surgery; critical care; pediatrics; oncology; obstetrics; psychiatry; cardiology; physical, occupational and speech therapy; counseling and resource center; radiation oncology; emergency medicine; same-day-surgery; nutrition counseling; and a sleep center.



SOURCE Prime Healthcare Services