Judge keeps Hillsboro Hospital out of Empower’s hands

Hillsboro Community Hospital received good news on Wednesday after a grueling five-hour-long evidentiary bankruptcy hearing in Greenville, North Carolina. Unlike a majority of the fourteen hospitals with ties to Empower, Hillsboro will not be grouped into an Empower bankruptcy, but will continue progressing in its own bankruptcy case.

The hospital legally declared bankruptcy on Wednesday, March 13 and has been moving forward in the case.

But, according to a press release issued by the lawyers for the hospital, on April 4, CAH Acquisition Company #5, the company under Empower that previously ran HCH, had attorneys file a motion in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina, Greenville Division, to have the Hillsboro Community Hospital bankruptcy case transferred from Kansas to North Carolina.

The City of Hillsboro, along with the Bank of Hays, and other parties involved in the Hillsboro Community Hospital bankruptcy case, worked together to file a joint objection to the requested transfer to North Carolina. They also sent witnesses and attorneys to North Carolina to appear at the expedited hearing on Wednesday, April 10, to help argue against the transfer request.

Judge Joseph N. Callaway in North Carolina denied the request to transfer the bankruptcy case to North Carolina. This means that the bankruptcy case will remain under the jurisdiction of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas, Wichita Division.

Cohesive Healthcare Management and Consulting, LLC, the company that was appointed as the receiver on January 18 remains as the company operating and managing the Hillsboro Community Hospital during the pendency of the bankruptcy case in Kansas.

According to the court document, Hillsboro and one other case, Lauderdale from the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Western District of Tenessee, were both denied and allowed to proceed as separate cases.

Larry Paine, City Administrator and Lou Thurston, Hillsboro Mayor, were unable to comment due to pending legal action.