Owner of Weiss Hospitals, West Suburban files for bankruptcy amid sale

The owner of Weiss and West Suburban hospitals has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move that comes amid efforts to sell the facilities.

Pipeline Health System, a California-based for-profit health system, filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. He has owned Weiss in Uptown and West Suburban in Oak Park since 2019.

Pipeline said in a news release that it plans to “continue to operate in the normal course of business during Chapter 11 proceedings,” keeping its hospitals open. Pipeline said it will continue to pay salaries. Weiss has 650 employees and West Suburban has 867 employees, according to Pipeline.

“We intend the restructuring process to allow our hospitals to remain open and operational in their communities, while putting the hospital system in a more secure and sustainable financial position going forward,” said Pipeline CEO Andrei Soran, in the press release.

He said patients do not need to reschedule appointments.

The bankruptcy is the result of challenges including rising labor and supply costs, lower revenues and late payments from some insurance plans, Pipeline said.

The news comes just months after the state Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved Pipeline’s plans to sell Weiss and West Suburban for $92 million to Resilience Healthcare, a for-profit start-up company run by Manoj. Prasad, who has said he has spent much of his career helping to turn around health centers.

Pipeline said in a news release that it plans to continue “pursuing all available options to complete the planned sale” of the hospitals to Resilience.

“If the buyer is unable to close the sale, Pipeline plans to undertake a marketing process to identify other potential buyers,” Pipeline said.

A Pipeline spokeswoman declined to comment on a possible timeline for closing the sale or “factors that led to the delay.”

Mark Silberman, an attorney at the Benesch Law Firm representing Resilience, said “we are hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to position ourselves to provide care to the community.”

Pipeline has a fraught history with its Chicago-area hospitals.

In 2019, Pipeline angered community members and leaders shortly after it purchased the two hospitals and Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park. pipeline initially he said he would turn around all three facilities, but instead he said he would close Westlake just weeks after taking office, raising fears that he had similar plans for Weiss and West Suburban.

Those concerns were excited recently when Pipeline agreed to sell a Weiss parking lot to a developer hoping to build apartments on the site.

Pipeline also owns four hospitals in the Los Angeles area and one hospital in Dallas, Texas.

More to come.

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