October 21, 2011 1:12 PM
RIVERSIDE • A federal bankruptcy court judge has agreed to allow Prime Healthcare Services to provide financial assistance to Victor Valley Community Hospital, which has been on the brink of shutting down amid dire financial straits.
CEO Catherine Pelley of VVCH said last month the hospital was expected to run out of cash no later than Nov. 24. She had said if the hospital didn’t find a buyer by Thanksgiving, it would have to shut down.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Bauer’s interim order on Thursday means the hospital won’t run out of money by that estimated deadline. Prime used to be the debtor in possession of VVCH before KPC Global outbid Prime in a November auction.
“Prime will be giving us the funding so that we can continue doing what we do while searching for the next step,” VVCH spokeswoman Lovella Sullivan said.
The Riverside judge’s order enables Prime to provide debtor-in-possession financing and operational consulting services under the direction of the VVCH Board of Directors. The final order is expected to be issued Oct. 31 and take effect Nov. 1, the hospital said in a statement Friday.
The judge had approved Prime’s purchase of VVCH in July, but California Attorney General Kamala Harris denied the deal last month.
“The Attorney General’s decision to deny the sale of VVCH to Prime Healthcare Services Foundation placed the hospital in a dire situation,” the hospital stated. “From that moment, all available options to keep the hospital open were focused upon and Prime Healthcare Services was the answer. … This is good news for the hospital, all of its constituents and the community.”
Sullivan said Friday she didn’t know about the possible options or potential offers the board is considering.
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Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.