SAMC files for bankruptcyBy Trisha Maldonado
Southeast Arizona Medical Center (SAMC) filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 8.
According to Annie Benson the Chief Executive Officer for SAMC, they have filed for Chapter 11.
Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States' Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States.
The CEO and Jim Riley, president of Community Healthcare of Douglas, informed the employees of the filing Friday morning.
“The employees who have been with us for a while didn’t seem to be worried,” Benson said.
According to Benson they have been through this before in 2000 and they survived.
“There will be no changes,” she said. “We will continue to service our patients as we always have.”
There currently are no plans for layoffs or cutting hours. They will not fill any positions if they become available unless they are significant positions.
Sierra Vista Regional Health Center (SVRHC) will continue to help SAMC during the next 90 days until a new company is chosen to operate the facility.
SVRHC has loaned SAMC over $1 million, Benson added. The new company that comes in to operate the hospital will have repay those funds back to SVRHC.
SAMC applied for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s Safety Net Care Pool on Oct. 2. On Nov. 27 AHCCS had approved the application and had submitted it to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for further review. As of Feb. 8 CMS has not approved or denied SAMC’s application.
Benson said “the bankruptcy will not effect if the state accepts their application.”
The Arizona Health Facility Authority provided SAMC with a grant in the amount of $25,000 to pay for a consultant that came to the hospital in January.
“He recommended the new computer billing system that we have and he also felt the aquatics program we would like to start would be a good way bring in revenue,” Benson said.
Benson also believes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as the Obamacare will have a positive impact on the hospital.
When asked what her short term goals for the hospital were Benson said “getting through the next 90 days and having someone come in here and help us get back on our feet.”
Benson added she would still would like to have a hospital built in Douglas.
“Having a hospital built in Douglas has always been my long term goal,” she said.