CHICAGO—Unable to find a buyer, Sacred Heart Hospital held an auction last week to sell off assets piecemeal to the highest bidders. A liquidation firm sold off a wide range of items, such as a Siemens CT scanner, 37 hospital beds, eight laboratory microscopes, a half-dozen Ford vans and equipment for a full commercial kitchen, including several sinks, according to the online auction site. Also up for sale was more mundane equipment, such as IV stands, metal forceps and boxes of unused sutures. The auction came nearly six months after owner and CEO Edward Novak was arrested by federal authorities in connection with an investigation into Medicare fraud and kickbacks to doctors. Novak already reached an agreement to sell one valuable asset: a dialysis business, for $4.3 million to DaVita Healthcare Partners. He also sold off Superior Home Health to another Chicago-based home health company, court records show. In a deal that closed in July, the firm paid $5,000 and assumed liability for employees' unpaid wages of about $82,000. Days before the West Side hospital was shut down July 1, a tentative agreement was reached to sell the 96-bed facility to healthcare investor and hospital turnaround expert Paul Tuft, but Novak killed the deal. Since then, two Chicago safety-net institutions also expressed interest in a deal: Norwegian American Hospital and Loretto Hospital, according to documents in Sacred Heart's Chapter 11 case, which was filed July 2 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago.
Regional News/Midwest: Sacred Heart Hospital sells off assets
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