County-owned Natchez (Miss.) Regional Medical Center has obtained permission to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy
for the second time in five years.Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1449 March 4
, which gives approval to the board of trustees for Natchez Regional “to petition for relief from debts and financial obligations of the hospital.”
As a county-owned hospital, the declaration of bankruptcy requires legislative approval, which the hospital sought last month when it announced that its financial liabilities exceeded its assets
by about $3 million because of declining federal reimbursements.
Natchez Regional previously filed for bankruptcy in February 2009 and emerged from those proceedings 10 months later. Although the hospital attempted to sell itself at the time, no buyer was identified. This time, with the help of Healthcare Management Partners, hospital officials have said that negotiations are underway to sell the facility once a reorganization is approved. However, no specific details relating to a potential transaction have been released.Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden