Judge halts Philadelphia hospital closure


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A Philadelphia Common Pleas judge granted part of a preliminary injunction request sought by the city to stop Hahnemann University Hospital from closing, but the Philadelphia hospital plans to continue scaling back services this week.

Judge Nina Padilla granted the injunction, which stops Hahnemann’s owners from shutting down the hospital without a closure plan authorized by the Philadelphia health commissioner. The injunction specifically prohibits Hahnemann’s owners “from closing, ceasing operations, or in any way further reducing or disrupting services” at the hospital’s emergency room until the health commissioner signs off on the closure plan, according to KYW Newsradio.

Hahnemann is diverting high-level trauma cases, but the hospital’s ER will remain open to treat patients with minor health issues, Marcel Pratt, city solicitor of Philadelphia, told KYW Newsradio.

Although the ER will remain open, Hahnemann plans to scale back other services this week. The hospital said it will stop all nonemergency surgeries and procedures, including child deliveries, on July 12, according to CBS Philly.

Philadelphia Academic Health System, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy June 30, plans to close Hahnemann University Hospital by Sept. 6.


Oral arguments to be heard in birth control coverage case

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A federal judge in California will hear oral arguments today in a case that could decide whether employers can refuse to provide certain health services that go against their religious beliefs.

Following a 2011 HHS mandate that required employers to provide certain health care — including birth control and emergency contraception — the Catholic nonprofit Little Sisters of the Poor sued in 2013 to be exempt from the rule, but five years and lengthy court battles later, the case is still ongoing.

New HHS rules created in 2017 allowed for religious exemptions for employers, including the group run by nuns, but 13 states and the District of Columbia sued to block the rules.

Two judges in January temporarily blocked the rules from going into effect, and today’s hearing will decide whether those injunctions will stay in place.