Exum said council members were given only an hour to look over the deal as the clock ran out on the General Assembly session, but legislators, Johnson and O'Malley administration officials say they were included in negotiations over two weeks.
"All parties were involved," Brown said.
Exum blamed the hospital's problems on mismanagement by Dimensions. She sits on the Dimensions board.
Colmers and hospital officials acknowledged management problems over the years, but they said they are not the sole reason for the system's financial woes.
With the largest share of uninsured patients in the state, it had to absorb the salaries of 100 doctors because the doctors couldn't collect from many of the patients, Almalel said. That accounted for about half of the $11.1 million operating loss that Dimensions has posted so far this fiscal year, according to filings with the state Health Services Cost Review Commission.
Other Maryland hospitals treat almost as large a share of uninsured patients as Dimensions but have managed to remain solvent and even profitable.
Circumstances are different at the others, said Calvin Pierson, president of the Maryland Hospital Association.
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore have medical residents to help in care for the uninsured, Pierson said, while Bon Secours Hospital has a sponsoring religious order that subsidized its losses in down years.
As cash flow tightened, the Prince George's hospitals deferred some pension contributions, and the system is now facing a $4.7 million pension payment due April 15.
The problems spun into a vicious cycle. Dimensions didn't have the money to recruit and retain staff. And it didn't update facilities at a time its competitors were building amenities-laden new wings - leading some patients to choose more attractive facilities in Anne Arundel, Howard and Montgomery Counties.
"People with insurance would rather go to other hospitals," Almalel said.
Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold said he has been following the negotiations over Prince George's Hospital and was worried to hear about the demise of the state's deal, because the hospitals in his county are already crowded.
"It is of concern," Leopold said.
Only the General Assembly can create a new hospital authority to take over management of the health center, and it is not due to return until January. The governor could call a special session of the legislature, but that would be unlikely unless the county agrees to a deal first.
"I'm always willing to talk," O'Malley said.
The immediate solution will likely be a repeat of the piecemeal aid that has kept the hospital struggling along for years, said Johnson, who estimated the county might have to come up with $30 million.
"I know no one wants to do another year" of aid, Johnson said. "But the first thing we've got to do is find the resources for another year, and that's on the county executive and the council. We've got to keep it open for a year."
Sun reporter Jennifer Skalka contributed to this article.