PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) is calling on state and city officials to intervene to save Hahnemann University Hospital. They have expressed support for the Philadelphia Legislative Delegation’s proposal that Governor Wolf and the Department of Health intervene immediately. The union, which represents 800 registered nurses at Hahnemann, also calls on City Council and Mayor Kenney to commit to ensuring that the historic property will remain a hospital and not be used as a real estate commodity to enrich its current owner. PASNAP believes that these steps can help to bring all stakeholders together and facilitate a sale to Drexel University or another responsible buyer.
PASNAP also demands that Joel Freedman, head of the for-profit American Academic Health System (AAHS) which has owned Hahnemann since 2018, account for how he has spent public healthcare dollars.
“Hahnemann is a safety-net hospital that for decades has provided care to an under-served community,” said PASNAP President Maureen May, RN. “We cannot allow predatory, for-profit companies to plunder such a valuable public good. It is incumbent upon the State and City to step in and guarantee that the poor and working people who depend upon this hospital continue to receive the care that they need.”
Founded in 1848, Hahnemann has for decades served low income Philadelphians. A Hahnemann closure would place immense stress on other area hospitals that serve a similar patient population. Every hospital in the city already has emergency room wait times that exceed the state and national averages. These institutions cannot serve the 40,000 ER patients Hahnemann sees annually without compromising the quality of care they are able to provide. Such an event would represent a true public health emergency.
Hahnemann, which employs 3,000 Philadelphia workers, has also long been a central teaching institution, training registered nurses and physicians who have gone on to provide care across the state.
AAHS, an affiliate of Paladin Healthcare Management, acquired Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children less than two years ago. Paladin is a for-profit hospital company founded by former investment banking executive Joel Freedman. Outside of Philadelphia, Paladin has also purchased hospitals serving low income communities in Washington, D.C. and Southern California. Healthcare professionals have questioned whether the financial interests of investors like Paladin align with the needs of patients and the employees who care for them. In other states, like neighboring New Jersey, hospital financial transparency is required by state law. There are no such regulations in Pennsylvania.
“Joel Freedman’s company has run this hospital with only profit in mind. He is creating a public health crisis,” said PASNAP Executive Director Lisa Leshinski. “State and city officials need to intervene to prevent a true public health emergency while all stakeholders come together to arrive at a long-term solution.”