Next step in Thomas Health bankruptcy filing is court hearing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A initial hearing was scheduled for Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing from Thomas Health System based in Kanawha County.

Thomas Health System, a nonprofit corporation, runs Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston and St. Francis Hospital in Charleston under Dan Lauffer, president and chief executive officer.

Affiliates also listed in the bankruptcy filing dated on Friday, Jan. 10 included Charleston Hospital, Herbert J. Thomas Memorial Hospital Association and THS Physician Partners.

Estimates put assets for Thomas Health at between $1 million and $10 million with liabilities that ranged from $100 million to $500 million, according to the filing.

Indexed as well were the 30 creditors owed the largest amounts by Thomas Health System for a total of $5.3 million.

Thomas Health officials reported 1,440 full-time and 250 part-time employees that included physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, certified nursing assistants, other medical staff and other employees, including administrative staff.

In a statement issued last week, those with the hospital said those jobs were not in jeopardy.

“Thomas Health is not closing its doors and there are no planned changes to employment, services, or how we deliver care to our patients. The Chapter 11 process will not affect enrollment of patients or employers in healthcare plans in 2020,” a news release said.

The bankruptcy filing was necessary “to realign its operations with the realities of the current healthcare industry and meet the ongoing health care needs of the communities it serves.”

Thomas Memorial Hospital opened in South Charleston in 1946.

Thomas Health System was formed when St. Francis Hospital was purchased in 2007.

Wednesday’s hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Frank Volk was scheduled for 1:30 p.m.