Hospital Corporation of America still interested
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

While the BCMH is still going through a long drawn-out bankruptcy process, the Bamberg County Hospital Board of trustees is still receiving interest from Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in establishing healthcare services in Bamberg. Bamberg County Hospital Board Chair Dr. Danette McAlhaney noted at the board’s January 15, meeting that the board had received a “letter of interest” from HCA.

McAlhaney noted that while the letter of interest from HCA shows they are still interested in Bamberg, it “means little or nothing” but they are still interested. “Whether HCA comes to Bamberg will be their decision if they can break even,” McAlhaney said. Hospital board members agreed to accept the letter of interest from HCA.

Dr. McAlhaney noted the letter of interest from HCA (which operates the Colleton County Hospital) was “sparked” by the fact that the Bamberg County Hospital had to go back to bankruptcy court because of the “new track” that the bankruptcy filing had taken. She stated that she recently attended a hearing of the court last Wednesday and noted that the bankruptcy court wanted the lawyers to decide what standard applied for the new track the filing was on and “needed a good argument” the law could support this direction. She stated the lawyers believe the new plan is consistent with the old plan with no impact on the creditors.

“The good news is they didn’t throw us out of bankruptcy,” Dr. McAlhaney said, adding the only two people that might oppose it would be the “G.E. and Regions Banks” people. Dr. McAlhaney stressed that the hospital has not be sold, “everybody is still on board” and nothing has changed over the last several months but is moving at a “snail’s pace.”

Also during Monday night’s meeting, board members gave Chairperson McAlhaney permission to contact other healthcare facilities about consumable supplies in the hospital that are nearing their expiration date. It was noted that a number of supplies in the hospital have reached their expiration date and would not be worth anything.

It was also reported during the meeting that the hospital had started to get its tax returns forms from IRS for “offset” money it had recouped during last year. The hospital presently has $57,806 in its bank account after a payment of $25,000 was paid to its bankruptcy attorney.

In a discussion of closing out the hospital foundation, hospital board finance chairman Al Palmer noted that the foundation could be closed out by filing the final tax return and marking “final”. It was noted the foundation still has a balance of $3,000 in its account.