Hillsboro Hospital dealing with financial issues

Hillsboro Community Hospital has recently struggled to pay their employees. Several weeks ago, employees received their paychecks one day late. Their latest check came eight days late.

“Everybody did get paid on Friday. It was just a little bit late,” said Chief Nursing Officer Jessi Workman.

Workman has been serving as the highest administrative official for the hospital. Former CEO Marion Regier retired right before Thanksgiving. A new CEO has not been hired.

“Hillsboro Community Hospital is made up of amazing people and the integrity of the people at the hospital is impeccable. Nothing that is occurring with our hospital is a result of the Hillsboro community, Marion County or the people who work at our hospital. I don’t want anything that’s occurring financially with the hospital to be construed as poor management or operations based upon our hospital as an entity,” said Workman. “We are owned by a corporation called Empower HMS. ”

Empower has been in the news recently for financial issues with multiple hospitals that it owns. According to a Tulsa based news station, News on 6, employees at four Empower owned hospitals in Oklahoma have expressed concerns about the future of the hospitals. A fifth hospital in Wilburton, Oklahoma was closed in October due to financial problems.

Another article from NPR, cites a pattern of controversial business practices by management companies with ties to Empower CEO Jorge Perez for causing high risks for vulnerable hospitals that Empower owns.

“Empower manages and owns rural hospitals across the country and rural hospitals are experiencing hardships based on reimbursement and decreases in patient volumes as a whole and that can impact financial operations,” said Workman.

It is not clear yet what will happen with HCH. Workman was unable to comment on reports that the hospital is already losing employees due to the payroll issues.

“In any situation like this, there are going to be ramifications. We just don’t know what those will be yet,” said Workman.

The Hillsboro Free Press will continue to report on this as more information becomes available.

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