Hospital hearing continued to Aug. 6

A hearing concerning the Iron County Medical Center’s (ICMC) Chapter 9 bankruptcy has been continued until 9 a.m. on Aug. 6.

The hearing was held Tuesday, June 25, at the Rush H. Limbaugh, Sr. Federal Courthouse.  The judge presiding the case brought the attorneys for both sides into his chambers and ordered  the discussion confidential while they continued to seek an agreement prior to the next hearing.

At issue is what entity is to be paid first under the terms of a Chapter 9 Bankruptcy filing in February, 2018.

ICMC CEO Joshua Gilmore contends the institution must be allowed pay the hospital vendors (businesses that supply goods and services to it to keep it operating) first. USDA officials - who hold the bonds issued for the completion of the hospital in December 2006, said the payments on those bonds need to be paid first.

To that end the federal agency is threatening to terminate the hospital’s agreement with Medicare, an agreement that allows the payback of roughly $2 million over 10 years with no interest. Should that agreement be disallowed, the entire amount would be due immediately, an amount beyond the financial capability of the local hospital.

Gilmore said before the hearing that he thought the hospital had a good case because of the actual wording of the bond issue agreement.