Pipeline Health System, LLC, has reached an agreement with Resilience Healthcare and Ramco Healthcare Holdings, LLC, to purchase Pipeline’s two Chicago hospitals, West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
Pending approval of a motion submitted late Tuesday to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Resilience is expected to assume operations of the two hospitals effective Dec. 2. California-based Pipeline and its affiliates filed voluntary petitions for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on Oct. 2.
Resilience is led by healthcare executive Manoj Prasad and financial partner Rathnakar R. Patlola, who manages Ramco.
Phase one of the two-phase sale includes the Dec. 2 transition to Resilience of the operations affiliated with the two hospitals, the medical office building adjacent to Weiss, the River Forest Medical Campus affiliated with West Suburban and the Chicago Health Medical Group. This phase will provide an assurance of continuity to hospital employees, physicians and patients at Weiss and West Suburban.
Phase two of the sale contemplates Ramco purchasing the real estate associated with the Chicago medical facilities and is expected to close in the next few months.
“We are pleased to have reached this important milestone after months of discussion, planning and full transparency, and we are grateful to the physicians and staff who have continued their dedicated service to their patients during this year of change,” said Pipeline CEO Andrei Soran.
“We are proud of the investments we have made in these Chicago facilities, and we wish Weiss and West Suburban all the best in their continued service to their communities.”
Since taking ownership of Weiss and West Suburban in 2019, Pipeline has made significant investment in both hospitals – $60 million total – to improve facilities, add technology and expand clinical programs – all to improve patient care and service to the community.
Pipeline and hospital leaders also have engaged actively with Illinois legislators and community leaders over the last two years. The hospitals have engaged with the community in various events hosted by them and by community organizations, providing breast cancer screening free of charge, school backpacks for youth, health education, support for LGBTQ events and more.
Despite these efforts, Pipeline has struggled to succeed in the Chicago market, and the hospitals were hit hard by the COVID pandemic that led to skyrocketing labor and supply costs.
Pipeline began discussions with Resilience early in 2022. The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the sale June 7. Since then, Pipeline has continued discussions with Resilience to reach a final agreement, despite some delays.
“We have worked diligently and transparently in our engagement, partnering with the community in ongoing conversations about the hospitals and their service to patients and about our work toward a change of ownership,” Soran added.
Located in Oak Park, West Suburban is a safety net hospital serving an at-risk community. More than 80 percent of West Suburban’s patients reside in the Austin community of Chicago’s West Side. Weiss is a high Medicaid hospital serving Chicago’s diverse Uptown community on the city’s North Side.
The two hospitals have a long history of providing critical healthcare services to their respective communities and employ a combined total of 1,700 employees.