Hospital suit brings more twists and turns

The fight to save Hillsboro Community Hospital continues with documents being filed in the Marion County District Court last week in preparation for the hearing set for Tuesday, March 5.

On Monday, Feb. 25, defendant CAH Acquisition Company #5 asked the court for an order delaying the deposition of their representative. They had also filed several other documents including counterclaims alleging abuse of process and a wrongful appointment of receiver.

CAH listed multiple reasons why there are issues with the case overall including statements that the petition does not contain any factual allegations.

Several other documents were filed last week, including a motion filed on Tuesday, Feb. 26 for an order to allow CAH lawyer Thomas Gilman to withdraw as counsel. This motion was filed because Gilman has not been paid.

As we have previously reported, Hillsboro is only one of 14 hospitals that are connected with Empower. Of those 14, at least five have completely closed with six, one of which is Hillsboro, of the others under receivership.

The three remaining ones are having serious problems that could lead to their own closing. For example, according to The Kansas City Star on Feb. 4, Horton Community Hospital in Kansas is having issues with paychecks being late and insurance not being honored.

And many of the hospitals under receivership as well as Regional General Hospital owe substantial amounts in taxes, according to a Jan. 21 article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

None of the hospitals that have been under Empower ownership are thriving.

The emergency motion for order granting the receiver (Cohesive) additional powers will be heard in the Marion County District Court in Marion on Tuesday, March 5 after the Free Press has gone to press. At that time, several of the other complaints will also be addressed including the petition for counsel to withdraw from the case.

We will keep the public updated on our website and in print next week as the case continues to develop.

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