UPDATE: Hutcheson Medical Center under new management - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Hutcheson Medical Center under new management

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UPDATE: Channel 3 has learned that Hutcheson Medical Center will be under new management Friday.

Atlanta based ApolloMD has entered into a management of services agreement with Hutcheson Medical Center in anticipation of entering into an agreement to purchase the facility.

Attorney Stuart James issued the following statement Thursday:

"On behalf of Walker County Georgia, and as the  special counsel for Walker County working with Commissioner Bebe Heiskell and Don Oliver, I am proud to report that Bebe is thrilled that Hutcheson Medical Center will be reopened tomorrow. Since Walker County asked me to represent it in this matter, I have worked closely with Don Oliver and Commissioner Heiskell, and we have shared a common goal-to get this hospital to remain open or to be reopened so that it can provide much-needed healthcare to the residents of Walker County and North Georgia. We realize the importance of the hospital to our institutions of government (such as the sheriff's office) as well as to  members of the community, and the lifesaving importance of delivering healthcare quickly and efficiently. We are sure that the hospital, now that is reopened, will continue its tradition of providing quality healthcare to the residents of Walker County and North Georgia.  We are happy that the citizens now have access to healthcare and that Hutcheson, North George's community Hospital, is open for business."

ApolloMD will be planning the re-opening of the facility and will announce those details in the coming days.

PREVIOUS STORY: Tarps are coming off the signs at Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe. The hospital closed after a long struggle with finances and impending deals that didn't materialize.

Channel 3 placed a call to Hutcheson to ask if they were, in fact, open. The call was answered, but the person stated they didn't know when the official re-opening might occur.

PREVIOUS STORY: A new buyer has stepped up with an offer to buy the financially-troubled Hutcheson hospital in North Georgia. Hutcheson closed its doors December 4 after several offers fell through. Now workers are hopeful to have the doors open again in the coming week.

Hutcheson's bankruptcy trustee has reached an agreement with the state of Georgia to extend the hospital's license through December 24.

Valor Bridge LLC has an offer on the table that would bring in Atlanta-based Apollo MD to manage the hospital.

Megan Arthur picked up what could be her last paycheck from Hutcheson hospital, Tuesday.
"It has been one stressful roller coaster," says Arthur.

Arthur has worked at Hutcheson for eight years, most recently in the ER.

"Hutcheson is not just the building. Hutcheson, we're a family."

She and other former employees have many questions as officials work to finalize an offer to buy the hospital.
"Are we going to have a job tomorrow? Are we going to be able to make our house payment? Our car payment? It's just been very stressful for all of us," says Arthur.

She has already filed for unemployment.
"I had to go file for unemployment because I have three children I have to make sure are fed and clothed and taken care of."

News of another potential buyer has given her encouragement.
"My hopes are up. They really are," she says.

More than $80 million in debt, Hutcheson filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in November of last year. It is also being investigated by the federal government, accused of not paying employee's insurance premiums.

Even so, Atlanta-based Apollo MD has put in an offer of more than $4 million.

"I think maybe it will boost morale and we can enjoy Christmas instead of worrying about am I going to be able to make that payment next month?"

Management with Apollo MD was on the hospital campus Tuesday. A doctor with the group informed Hutcheson employees through a Facebook group the company would be taking over managerial services.
"We worked with the Apollo doctors before in the ER and they are amazing. So I'm excited. I'm excited to see where they're going to take our hospital," says Arthur.

 A hearing is set for Thursday in Atlanta to hammer out last-minute details in the Apollo offer.

Several sources say Apollo is working to have the doors to Hutcheson back open as early as this Friday if the deal happens. The same doctor in the Facebook group says they would start the rehire process, offering temporary contracts until the sale goes through.

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