Heiskell Signs $25 Million Bond Resolution To Help Hutcheson Hospital With Debt

Friday, February 8, 2013

Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has signed a $25 million bond resolution that she said will help ensure the 850 employees at Hutcheson Medical Center will continue to have a place to work.

“While this bond will serve as a short-term tax anticipation solution to Hutcheson's financial dilemma, it will keep the hospital floating until a more permanent solution can be crafted,” she said.

A restructuring of Hutcheson's total debt is expected to be tackled sometime next year.

The $25 million tax anticipation bond is expected to be used, in part, to pay off a high-interest $12 million debt to Medicare.

Representatives from Catoosa and Walker County met to discuss the arrangement and agreed to sign off on the bond resolution.

The medicare debt owed by Hutcheson is saddled with an 11-percent interest rate, while the tax anticipation bond will provide the hospital a 1-percent interest rate on the money, officials said.

The remaining proceeds from the bond will be used to pay off various medical vendors owed by the Hospital and to replace some outdated medical equipment currently being used for patient care.

Commissioner Heiskell said, “The hospital continues to make wonderful gains toward financial solvency and I look forward to seeing it operate once again as one of the area's premier medical facilities.”

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