Hahnemann University Hospital Closure

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2020

Hahnemann University Hospital is now closed. The Pennsylvania Medical Society and component county medical societies understand that this is a blow to the medical community and the residents they serve. We will continue to update this page with resources and information in an effort to assist physicians and residents during this difficult time.   

What should residents, fellows, and attending physicians affected by Hahnemann’s closure do to prevent a gap in their medical liability coverage? 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The answer below was updated on Jan. 3, 2020 to reflect new information about an extension of the claims-made policy until Feb. 10, 2020.

While employed, Hahnemann’s physicians-in-training received medical professional liability coverage through the Philadelphia Academic Risk Retention Group, LLC (PA RRG). Under the PA RRG policy, residents and fellows were insured with claims-made coverage, which was originally set to terminate on Jan. 11 at 12:01 a.m.

PAMED has now learned that The Philadelphia Academic Risk Group, LLC (PA RRG) medical professional liability (MPL) claims-made policy, which was set to terminate on Jan.11 at 12:01 am, has been extended! Physicians who are covered by the PA RRG policy, which applied to both Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s, will now have an additional thirty (30) days of MPL coverage. With this extension, we are told that the PA RRG policy will terminate on Feb. 10, 2020.

Upon termination of the claims-made policy, tail insurance (or its equivalent) is required to prevent a gap in coverage. Physicians are still encouraged to continue to obtain quotes for coverage after the Feb. 10 termination date. If you have already received quotes or obtain coverage from alternate carriers, please contact your new or prospective carriers with this updated information.

PAMED, the American Medical Association, have released a new webinar with updated information on Wednesday, Jan. 8. Scroll to the following question in order to view the newest webinar: "PAMED, the AMA, and the Philadelphia County Medical Society have hosted two webinars for residents affected by the Hahnemann closure. Are recordings of the webinars available?"

Hahnemann was obligated under Pennsylvania law to guarantee the continued availability of suitable liability coverage (i.e. tail insurance) upon the termination of the claims-made policy. Unfortunately, however, Hahnemann’s bankruptcy jeopardizes this tail insurance coverage.

The residents and fellows who were in training between Jan. 10, 2018 and Aug. 6, 2019 and the 100 attending physicians who were terminated from employment due to Hahnemann’s closure must act fast to prevent having a gap in their professional liability coverage. Gaps in coverage could potentially leave a physician exposed to uninsured malpractice claims, personal liability, and the risk of disciplinary action from medical licensing boards.

PAMED and the Philadelphia County Medical Society have developed resources to provide additional guidance. Get these resources via the links below:

You will find:

  • Information regarding Pennsylvania’s medical professional liability insurance requirements
  • A brief explanation of claims-made policies
  • Suggested next steps to help physicians obtain insurance coverage after the end of the claims-made policy
Are there financing options to assist with the cost of tail coverage?

There is the potential for low-interest loans with deferred interest and repayment to assist with the possible cost of tail coverage. You might first want to inquire about such possibilities with your employer or institution as well as your bank.

Laurel Road is offering a personal loan program for residents and fellows affected by the closures of Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s. Click here for more information on this offer by Laurel Road. Questions regarding the Laurel Road program can be directed tohelp@laurelroad.com or (855) 245-0989.

Doc2Doc Lending has also expressed an interest in assisting physicians and physicians-in-training affected by the Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s closures.

Two financing options that might be particularly helpful to visa holders and nonresidents of the United States are Stilt and Finder. Stilt offers loans for J-1 visa holders without a cosigner. Finder is an independent comparison platform that allows non-U.S. residents to qualify for loans.

Specific loan terms and financing products offered by different providers can vary. Before committing to any loan, please review the specific terms of your loan package and ask any question you might have concerning the offer to the loan provider.

The inclusion of any financial institution or loan provider does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation or favoring of any such company by PAMED.

Has Philadelphia Academic Health System (PAHS) notified former employees about the loss of tail coverage?

On Dec. 20, 2019, PAHS sent a letter concerning tail coverage to former residents of Hahnemann University Hospital, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, or a physician practice group or other entity associated with one of those hospitals.

View a copy of the letter here.

Important Note: After this letter was sent by PAHS, the termination date of the PA RRG policy was extended to Feb. 10, 2020.

PAMED, the AMA, and the Philadelphia County Medical Society have hosted two webinars for residents affected by the Hahnemann closure. Are recordings of the webinars available?

Yes, you can view the webinars below.

Part 1 (Recorded on Dec. 18, 2019)

Part 2 (recorded on Jan. 8, 2020)

Where can I find answers to frequently asked questions from PAMED’s first webinar for Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s physicians?

This FAQ document answers the following questions:

  • What is Mcare?
  • What is the mandatory medical liability insurance coverage requirement for physicians practicing in Pennsylvania?
  • What are the insurance coverage requirements under Mcare?
  • When is a resident considered “Mcare eligible”/ “Mcare ineligible”?
  • When does a resident qualify for an unrestricted license to practice medicine?
  • Where can I find a list of accredited graduate medical training programs?
  • I was a PGY1/PGY2/PGY3 while training at Hahnemann University Hospital/St. Christopher’s. I am unable to get a quote for coverage. Why?
  • I obtained an unrestricted license for the purpose of moonlighting. Does this change the type of coverage I would obtain?
  • I am a Hahnemann resident and I did a rotation at St. Christopher’s. Was I covered by Hahnemann’s policy or two policies during my training?
  • How do I send notice of a potential claim?
  • How do I get a loss run report?

View FAQs here

Has the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania become involved in efforts to secure medical liability tail coverage for former employees affected by the Hahnemann bankruptcy?

Yes. On Dec. 11, 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court requesting an order compelling debtors to obtain post-closure tail insurance coverage. In the motion, DOH says that it has determined that it is in the best interests of the public for the debtors to obtain tail insurance covering former residents, fellows, and medical staff of Hahnemann and former residents, fellows, and medical staff of St. Christopher's, including those who will not be employed by the new owners.R

As of Dec. 16, 2019, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court had not yet taken any action in response to DOH's motion.

Is the Pennsylvania Professional Joint Underwriting Association (JUA) doing anything to assist the Hahnemann physicians who are losing tail insurance coverage as of Jan. 10, 2020?

In a letter sent to the Pa. Insurance Department (PID) on Nov. 26, JUA shared its proposal to use surplus funds to:

  • Cover up to 50 percent of the cost of tail coverage for Hahnemann residents and fellows who have been displaced and left without tail coverage, up to a total of $25 million
  • Cover 10 percent of the premium cost for the displaced attendings who seek coverage from JUA

JUA asked the PID to take any steps to grant approval, if needed, in a timely manner.

On Dec. 24, 2019, the PID sent a letter in response to JUA's request. "Given the importance of understanding the position of the court in this matter before considering alternative solutions, the PID’s evaluation of your request must await the resolution of this active litigation," the letter said. The PID indicated that it would respond again once the outcome of the court proceedings is known. Read the PID's letter

If you are interested in obtaining a quote from JUA, visit JUA's website at http://www.pajua.com/ and use the link on the home page for former residents of Hahnemann and St. Christopher's.

Have the receiving institutions for the displaced Hahnemann University Hospital (HUH) trainees been notified about the issue concerning tail insurance coverage?

Yes. On Dec. 3, 2019, a group of stakeholders including PAMED and the Philadelphia County Medical Society emailed a letter to the designated institution officials for the receiving teaching hospitals. We asked each institution to consider providing additional medical professional liability insurance for the HUH trainees to help prevent a gap in coverage.

Read of copy of the letter here.

What action has the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) taken concerning the medical liability coverage issue affecting Hahnemann and St. Christopher's physicians?

On Jan. 6, 2020, ACGME shared a news release on this issue. According to the release, "The ACGME has notified American Academic Health System, as well as the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General, that HUH is in violation of the ACGME Institutional Requirements and that it must have malpractice insurance, which includes coverage of any future claims (e.g., tail insurance), for all residents and fellows."

You can find ACGME's news release here.

What should Hahnemann physicians know about the credentialing process?

For all Hahnemann physicians that need to find positions and credential at various hospitals, please note the information below that you must gather. Your first stop should be with the Hahnemann Medical Staff Office:

Nancy Marone, BS CPMSM
Hahnemann University Hospital
Director of Medical Staff Affairs
Phone: 215-762-1020
Fax: 215-762-1474

In order to be credentialed for a new position you will need the following:

  • Current CV signed and dated
  • 5X7 signed copy of all your state licenses
  • Copy of DEA registration
  • Current copy of current professional liability insurance coverage face sheets indicating limits, dates of coverage
  • Copy of CME documentation for the past (2) two years
  • Copy of your professional school diploma
  • Copy of internship/residency/fellowship certificate(s)
  • Copy of specialty board certificate(s)
  • Past insurance companies for ten (10) years. Names, addresses, and policy numbers
  • Minimum of three (3) professional references. Names, addresses, city, state, zip and emails
  • Complete description of liability claims – Claims history for ten (10) years is required
  • Written explanation of any gaps in time from time of graduation from medical school
  • Government issued photo (clear passport photo or clear copy of driver’s license photo)
  • Recent 3x5 photo for scanning purposes
  • Immunization and PPD testing in accordance with the hospital requirement as well as Influenza Vaccination
  • ACLS/BLS Recertification certificate
How can I make sure my CAQH record is up to date in order to facilitate the insurer credentialing process?

You can login to CAQH to check your information at https://proview.caqh.org/Login/Index. CAQH offers answers to frequently asked questions here.

For additional assistance, you can contact the CAQH Help Desk via live chat or by calling 1-888-599-1771. Live chat can be accessed by logging in to your account and clicking the chat icon at the top of the page. CAQH Live chat hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. (EST). CAQH phone hours are Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. (EST) and Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.(EST).
What actions did ACGME take to facilitate the transfer process for Hahnemann residents?

ACGME is not directly involved resident or fellow placement or decisions related to funding. It has invoked its Extraordinary Circumstances Policy to facilitate accreditation considerations that make it possible for residents and fellows to transfer to other programs.

ACGME's Extraordinary Circumstances Policy related to sudden closure describes Hahnemann's responsibilities to residents and fellows:

  • The Sponsoring Institution must assist the residents and/or fellows in permanent transfers to other ACGME-accredited programs in which they can continue their education.
  • If more than one institution or program is available for temporary or permanent transfer of a particular resident or fellow, the preferences of the resident or fellow must be considered by the transferring institution or program.
  • Programs must expeditiously make the decision to reconstitute the program and/or arrange for temporary or permanent transfers of the residents and/or fellows so as to maximize the likelihood that each resident or fellow will complete the academic year with the least disruption to her or his education. 

In order for programs to offer positions to residents and fellows displaced in this circumstance, they must first update the 2019-2020 Resident Roster in the Accreditation Data System (ADS), including any new residents and fellows. The ACGME is sending updated reports daily to the Drexel/Hahnemann DIO. The DIO is providing that report to all Drexel/Hahnemann program directors and coordinators so that they may inform residents/fellows of transfer opportunities.

As of July 24, 2019, ACGME had catalogued more than 1,430 available positions for displaced residents. 

What guidance has the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offered concerning the closure of Hahnemann University Hospital?

On July 18, 2019, AAMC shared guidance from its Chief Health Care Officer Janis Orlowski, MD. You can find it here.

What is Hahnemann’s residency/fellowship closure policy?

Hahnemann’s policy says that “If a resident/fellow desires to transfer to another residency/fellowship program, the Program Director and the Office of Academic Affairs, Department of Graduate Medical Education will assist the resident/fellow in identifying a new program.” The policy also stipulates that the resident/fellow be released from his or her contract with a 30-day written notice in the event that he or she is accepted into another program.

ACGME shared a copy of the Hahnemann’s residency/fellowship closure policy here.

ACGME also submitted a court filing in the United States Bankruptcy Court regarding the Hahnemann University Hospital closure. In the filing, ACGME asked the court to uphold its policy regarding residents and fellows to ensure timely placement. You can read ACGME’s news release on its court filing here.

What has the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) done for Hahnemann physicians with J-1 visa status?

In this statement issued on June 28, 2019, ECFMG says that it is focusing its efforts on assisting the international physicians in training at Hahnemann under ECFMG J-1 visa sponsorship. ECFMG is reaching out to these physicians to provide them with support and assistance as they transition to other training programs. 

ECFMG offers a Hahnemann resource page here.

Hahnemann residents/fellows sponsored by ECFMG in J-1 visa status may contact ECFMG with questions and concerns: Tracy Wallowicz, Director, EVSP and Compliance: 215-823-2120 or twallowicz@ecfmg.org.  

What is happening concerning Hahnemann University Hospital's bankruptcy proceedings? 

The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that, on Sept. 5, 2019, a $55 million winning bid for Hahnemann's residency slots was accepted by a bankruptcy judge. The winning bid was from a group of six Philadelphia-area health systems led by Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals Inc.

On Sept. 12, 2019, the federal government announced that it is taking steps to appeal the decision. Read the Inquirer's article on the judge's ruling and the government's appeal of that decision here.  

How will GME funding be handled for Hahnemann residents and fellows who are transferring to training programs at other hospitals?

ECFMG has shared some basic information on funding that may be helpful to Hahnemann residents and fellows. ECFMG says:

  • Funds from CMS for the training of physicians are owned by the training hospital (in this case, Hahnemann), not by any affiliated medical school(s).
  • When a hospital closes and a trainee moves to another hospital, the funding for the trainee’s position moves with the trainee to the new training hospital.
  • When a trainee moves to a new training hospital, the funds that move with the trainee are for all remaining years in the trainee’s program.
  • A hospital is eligible to accept a displaced trainee and to receive his/her funding, even if the hospital is at or over its number of capped positions.

Find more details on ECFMG’s website here.

Does PAMED have mental health resources for physicians or residents struggling with stress and anxiety?

Yes, the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society has a Physicians' Health Program. They can be reached at (866) 747-2255 or php-foundation@pamedsoc.org

How will physicians and residents obtain their records after Hahnemann Hospital closes?

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is the custodian of Hahnemann University physician training records as of August 26, 2019. FSMB is in the process of transitioning and evaluating these records. To inquire about your training records, please email hahnemann@fsmb.org.

To learn more about training records of closed programs, go here : https://www.fsmb.org/closed-programs/gme-closed-programs-faqs/    

PAMED will provide updates here if there are any additional developments.

Are there Philadelphia-area attorneys willing to provide legal advice and services to those affected by the hospital’s closure?

Karen Davidson, Esq.
Law Offices of Karen E. Davidson, LLC
33 Rock Hill Road, Suite 210, Bala Cynwyd, PA  19004

Maureen McBride, Esq.
Lamb McErlane, P.C.
24 E. Market Street, West Chester, PA  19381

Marleen Shields, Esq.
Fitzpatrick, Lentz, and Bubba, P.C.
4001 Schoolhouse Lane, Center Valley, PA 18034
Administrative Assistant:  Heather Long, ext. 392
610-797-9000, ext. 376

Rafael M. Villalobos, Jr., Esq.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC
Two Liberty Place, 50 S. 16th Street, Suite 3200, Philadelphia, Pa 19102-3807

PAMED can help you get an attorney to review and comment on the language and terms of your contract, including grounds for termination, non-compete clause, on-call requirements, and benefits.Learn More.

What is the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s (DOH) role in the closure of a facility?

Regulations require a facility to give written notice and submit a closure plan to the DOH 90 days prior to closing. As of June 27, 2019, DOH had not received a closure plan, and it sent a letter ordering the hospital and its owners to cease and desist plans to close the hospital until DOH receives written notice that the hospital intends to close and submits a closure plan. Read DOH’s cease and desist letter.

DOH has also appointed Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting as a temporary manager at Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital.

What is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania doing to address potential gaps in service and continuity of care caused by the closure of Hahnemann University Hospital?

In a joint press release issued by the Governor's Office and the Office of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Gov. Tom Wolf and Mayor Kenney said they are prepared to spend up to $15 million to address potential gaps in service and continuity of care. Read the press release here.  

Has the American Medical Association (AMA) become involved in this issue?

Yes, the AMA has taken several steps:

  • On July 25, 2019, the AMA sent a letter to CMS, urging it to offer an increased level of support, and, where possible, waivers for any rules or regulations which create substantial barriers for impacted residents and fellows. 
  • On July 25, the AMA also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates urging them to waive the “grace-period” requirement under the J-1 physician visa program.
  • The AMA was one of several organizations, including PAMED, that contributed funds to the Philadelphia County Medical Society Educational and Scientific Trust which provided help with relocation costs for displaced Hahnemann residents and fellows.
  • An Ad Hoc Committee of displaced Hahnemann residents and fellows has been formed for purposes of engaging legal counsel to represent their interests in the Hahnemann bankruptcy proceedings, and any related court proceedings, specifically in relation to tail insurance coverage obligations. The AMA has agreed to underwrite the costs of this legal representation. Get details here.
How can I reach out to my local county medical society?

You can contact these county medical societies in the Philadelphia region using the telephone numbers below:

  • Philadelphia County Medical Society – (215) 563-5343
  • Delaware County Medical Society – (610) 892-7750
  • Montgomery County Medical Society – (866) 442-2364
  • Bucks County Medical Society – (866) 855-7664
  • Chester County Medical Society – (610) 827-1543
Patient Care Ombudsman

Suzanne Koenig was recently appointed as the Patient Care Ombudsman.  

Her contact information is as follows:

SAK Management Services, LLC
300 Saunders Road, Suite 300
Riverwoods, IL 60015
Phone: (847) 446-8400
Fax: (847) 446-8432
Email: skoenig@sakmgmt.com

Suzanne Koenig is represented by the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Dennis Meloro and Nancy Peterman will lead the engagement for Greenberg.

Dennis Meloro: (302) 661-7395
Nancy Peterman: (312) 456-8410

The webpage is intended to be a resource for physicians. PAMED is not collecting payment from the attorneys or firms included on the site. PAMED’s inclusion of the contact information will not constitute PAMED’s endorsement of any of the services the attorney or law firm may provide.  PAMED will make no representation, guarantee or warrantee (express or implied) as to the legal services provide by any of the attorneys or firms listed on the site. PAMED is not a third-party to any agreement formed and will not pay for any of the services received as a result of the information provided on this site. 

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