Bankruptcy Trustee Files Motion For Hutcheson Auction

Hutcheson Medical Center in northwest Georgia is currently in the midst of bankruptcy, and news has come that the bankruptcy trustee has filed a motion to sell Hutcheson Medical Center at auction.  From The Chattanoogan:

Trustee Ronald Glass said there would be more value if the hospital is sold as a going concern (still operating) rather than it having closed due to mounting debt.

He is proposing that bidders for the hospital and its assets, including a nursing home and a surgery center, be pre-qualified to determine that they have the financial ability to make the acquisition and the ability to operate the facility.

The 27-page motion says, “The trustee believes that the sale of the sale assets as requested herein will provide a significantly greater realization for the sale assets than the liquidation value that would be obtained if the sale assets were not sold expeditiously in the manner requested herein and the debtors’ business was forced to cease operations.”

Hutcheson Medical Center entered a leasing agreement with Chattanooga-based Erlanger in 2013 along with a $20 million loan from Erlanger only to break the agreement a couple of months later.  Erlanger sued for breach of the agreement, and threatened foreclosure on the debt-laden hospital in 2014, but that was put to a halt in December after Hutcheson filed for bankruptcy.  I’ll also note that the facility itself is still owned by the Hospital Authority of Walker, Catoosa, and Dade Counties, but there is a 40-year lease agreement in the mid-’90s given to the operators of Hutcheson Medical Center.

Hutcheson is a shadow of its former self.  Once a trusted, thriving medical center in the ’80s and ’90s has seen a decrease in the number of doctors in residence as well as the number of patients.  Luckily, citizens in northwest Georgia are close enough to Chattanooga, so quality care is still available.