CHS is no longer bankrupt

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BELOIT - Community Health Systems Inc. (CHS) is officially out of bankruptcy and will have all its creditors paid off in full by July of 2019. According to a decree from the US Bankruptcy Court Western District of Wisconsin dated March 28, 2018, CHS is a reorganized debtor.

CHS, parent agency for the Beloit Area Community Health Center at the Eclipse Center, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March of 2014 after it reported a $1 million deficit, according to CEO Julie Sprecher.

She said CHS's plan to start making payments to creditors was confirmed on Feb. 26, 2016, and CHS continues to make payments.

CHS has an outstanding claim with the Department of Health Services which has been resolved. The motion to close its bankruptcy case was accepted and signed on Wednesday.

CHS's class 3, 4, and 5, payments will end in December, and its class 8 payments will be resolved in July of 2019. At that point CHS will have paid of all of its creditors at 100 percent.

Sprecher noted CHS as an organization has never sought or received any financial assistance from any other organization.

Paying off all of one's debt in bankruptcy is rare. Sprecher said only 10 to 15 percent of Chapter 11 cases result in a successful reorganization, and only 2 to 3 percent of those chapter 11 cases resulting in reorganization pay their creditors back at 100 percent.

"This is wonderful news. Our commitment is to provide services to our patient population in Beloit and we can continue to do that in a financially stable situation," she said.

CHS serves around 14,000 patients a year and now has 75 employees. It has plans to expand in dental and behavioral health and has completely renovated its facilities.

CHS offers health services to those who lack access to health services, especially low-income people covered by Medicaid, Medicare or who have no insurance. It also serves those who are underinsured. About 70 percent of patients using CHS services are Medicaid recipients.

Its medical practice offers preventative screens and assessments, adult and pediatric health care, women's health, management of chronic illnesses, sports physicals, well-child exams, nutritional counseling, on-site diabetic education and prescription drug assistance among other medical services.

CHS also offers care for HIV-positive patients through a collaboration with UW-Hospitals and Clinics. It also has a full-service dental practice including cleanings and the Seal-A-Smile in-school sealant application.

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