A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge on Thursday granted El Paso Children’s Hospital motion to return to mediation with University Medical Center of El Paso later this month, a Children’s Hospital official said.
El Paso Children’s Hospital Chief Executive Officer Mark C. Herbers said that the hospital’s motions seeking mediation were approved during a Chapter 11 bankruptcy hearing Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in El Paso.
Judge H. Christopher Mott granted Children’s Hospital’s motion to go into mediation in bankruptcy court with an independent mediator on June 25 and June 26, if necessary, according to a statement issued by El Paso Children’s Hospital. Judge Tony Diaz was appointed to serve as mediator.
Herbers mentioned that lawyers for Children’s Hospital and UMC “worked very diligently” to schedule mediation.
El Paso Children’s Hospital last month filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of bankruptcy laws after failed negotiations with UMC of El Paso regarding a dispute over a multimillion debt and oversight of Children’s Hospital.
Children’s Hospital said that the court will also appoint a health care ombudsman that will be tasked with reporting to the bankruptcy court on patient care at the hospital at least every 60 days.
“The families of our region can rest assured that El Paso Children’s Hospital will continue to provide their children the highest level of pediatric and neonatal care as we navigate through this restructuring process,” Herbers said.
The next hearing in U.S. bankruptcy court is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on July 14.
El Paso Children’s Hospital is a separately licensed, independent, not-for-profit hospital. It opened in 2012 and contracted with UMC for several services.
UMC has said that Children’s Hospital owes it about $90 million for rent and services. Children’s Hospital has disputed that amount and negotiations between the two hospitals had broken down.
Daniel Borunda may be reached at 546-6102.