One year after Hahnemann University Hospital’s bankruptcy filing, American Academic Health System Chairman Joel Freedman said he now believes his deal with Tenet Health Care Corp. for the Center City medical center never had a chance of succeeding, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.
"We were dead in the water the day we got there," Freedman said. "If I could go back and do it again, frankly, I would either not do the deal, get a significant adjustment from Tenet to do the deal, or I would have sold Hahnemann on day one and take the heat then. I can’t imagine it would have been any worse than the heat I've taken since.
"I would have walked away with a massive profit [selling the Hahnemann property immediately] instead of incurring a material loss and lot of heartache," he said. "But it is was it is. I was there for the right reason. I fought until the last breath trying to save Hahnemann."
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Problems from the beginning
California-based American Academic Health System bought Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children from Tenet in January 2018 for $170 million.
At the time, Freedman — who spent most of his career as an investment banker — was involved in running hospitals in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles that faced similar struggles caring for high volumes of low-income patients. He is no longer in the hospital management business.
During American Academic's negotiations with Tenet, Freedman said he was led to believe Hahnemann was operating at about break-even. But in the first month of American Academic's ownership the 171-year-old hospital lost $8 million, he said.