4 hospitals in Oklahoma and Tennessee miss payroll

Several hospitals in Oklahoma and Tennessee managed by the same company missed payroll, prompting one CEO to resign.

Shelly Dyer confirmed to News 9, an Oklahoma City TV station, that she had resigned as CEO of Prague (Okla.) Community Hospital Dec. 13 due to stress. At that time, the hospital was a week behind on payroll and had lapsed on its malpractice insurance. However, in the early morning hours of Dec. 14, employee payroll was distributed and the hospital's malpractice insurance was paid.

Prague Community Hospital is managed by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, which also operates several other hospitals in Oklahoma. As of Dec. 13, Fairfax (Okla.) Community Hospital and Haskell County Community Hospital in Stigler, Okla., which are operated by EmpowerHMS, were also behind on payroll, according to local news station KJRH. Lauderdale Community Hospital in Ripley, Tenn., an EmpowerHMS facility, was also behind on paying employees, according to WMC Action News 5.

Lauderdale Community Hospital CEO Michael Layfield told WMC Action News 5 that the hospital is facing the same financial challenges as many other rural hospitals across the nation.

"We are struggling because of volumes dropping and decreases in reimbursement," he said.

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