Hospital Bankruptcy case goes forward

The Bamberg County Memorial Hospital Chapter 9 Bankruptcy case will go forward. In a special called meeting Monday night, February 13, with its bankruptcy attorney, BCMH Board of Trustees members gave unanimous approval to continuing with the filing.

“Hopefully we are moving toward conclusion of this matter,” Stanley McGuffin, of the Columbia, South Carolina based Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. and the attorney for the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital in the bankruptcy case, told hospital board members.

McGuffin noted that the “Disclosure Statement and Plan of Debt Adjustment” was filed with the bankruptcy court on February 10 on behalf of the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital and on the same date a filing was made on behalf of the Barnwell County Hospital. A hearing is scheduled for both cases on March 19, to determine the “adequacy” of the Disclosure Statement document as to whether it contains “sufficient information” to comply with the legal requirements of a Disclosure Statement.

A Disclosure Statement was explained as: (An explanation to creditors and the public as to why the hospital filed for bankruptcy protection and what it is trying to accomplish through the bankruptcy. “And here the goal is to try to put together the sale of the Bamberg County and Barnwell County Hospitals to a private entity (Dobbs Equity Partners LLC.) that will result in the development of a regional hospital system in the two counties,” McGuffin said.

In a January 24, BCMH Board meeting, in responding to board members questions about the viability of the hospital until and after the sale is completed, Rick Greene of Dobbs Equity Partners LLC. noted: “Until we complete the purchase our hands are tied.”

Assuming the court finds the document acceptable, the court will then set a date for a confirmation hearing, which is expected to be in early or mid April. McGuffin explained that a confirmation hearing is a hearing where the court and creditors have an opportunity to address the Plan of Debt Adjustment. Importantly, McGuffin noted that both the Bamberg County Hospital bankruptcy plan and the Barnwell County Hospital bankruptcy plan are “conditional on each other.” “That means we must be successful in both cases in order for this to work,” he said. “That’s what is generally going on from a bankruptcy standpoint.”