Huntsville Memorial Hospital sale expected to close Monday

Item File PhotoOfficials with Huntsville Memorial Hospital, which is operated by the non-profit Walker County Hospital Corporation, remained quite about a potential sale on Wednesday.

Huntsville Memorial Hospital is expected to officially be under new ownership this week. 

A $7.8 million taxpayer acquisition of the acute care facility is expected to close Monday, in an effort to bring Walker County’s lone hospital out of financial turmoil. The Walker County Hospital District is expected to takeover ownership under a joint-venture agreement with Plano-based healthcare provider Community Hospital Corporation. The new entity will be called Huntsville Community Hospital Inc.

“The district managers have worked closely with consultants and CHC to continue hospital services in our community, and we are optimistic that the hospital will succeed and prosper under new management,” hospital district chairperson Anne Karr Woodard said in a release last week. “I am grateful for the diligence of the district managers throughout this challenging process.”

Woodard said she expects patients won’t notice any difference when they come to the hospital. However, the services are expected to improve.

“We greatly appreciate the support and input from the community,” Woodard added. “With dedicated district managers and the support of the community, we look forward to new leadership and improved services.”

This closes a tumultuous year long process that lead up to a November bankruptcy filing from the former operator Walker County Hospital Corporation. The private board rang up millions of dollars of debt after years of losses due to inflated salaries, alleged insurance fraud and failing attempts to establish a network of clinics.

In its filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, the hospital corporation reported $25 million in assets and $28.3 million in liabilities. The hospital district’s purchase includes $4.8 million in cash for the hospital’s accounts receivable ledger, which WCHC valued at $23.8 million.

The new operations board will consist of two members from Community Hospitals Corporation and one member from the hospital district — presumably Woodard as the district's chairman.