Small Hospitals Stumble Over Rules for Federal Coronavirus Loans – Wall Street Journal
Andrew Helman was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article discussing how some struggling rural hospitals are ineligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Bankruptcy kept Springfield Hospital in Vermont and Penobscot Valley Hospital in Maine from tapping the Paycheck Protection funding, even though they had made progress toward reorganizing, representatives of the hospitals said.
“It just appears to me that keeping it away from hospitals that are really trying to claw their way back doesn’t make sense,” said Michael Halstead, interim chief executive of Springfield Hospital. “We were very close to being able to come out of bankruptcy.”
Though SBA materials say bankruptcy is a barrier to Paycheck Protection funding, some bankruptcy lawyers, including Andrew Helman, who represents Springfield and Penobscot Valley, say the SBA is reading the law incorrectly. But mounting financial pressures leave no time to fight the issue out in court.
“In bankruptcy parlance, we talk about a company as a melting ice cube,” Mr. Helman said. “The fact is that the temperature just went up dramatically for small hospitals.”