Arkansas hospital to close May 7

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De Queen (Ark.) Medical Center will close May 7 after a string of financial challenges, according to KTAL, a local news station.

The financial woes came to light in December, when reports emerged that employees were not being paid on time. Shortly after, layoffs took place. Electricity was temporarily shut off in some parts of the hospital in February due to unpaid bills. The medical center, owned by a subsidiary of Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, hasn't seen any patients since February.

In a ruling issued March 28, a judge in Arkansas temporarily barred EmpowerHMS from transferring the hospital's assets, arguing there was a "real and present danger" that the assets were not being used properly to provide essential services, including to pay to employees.

In early April, De Queen Medical Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In the bankruptcy filing, the medical center estimated the value of its assets as $1 million to $10 million and listed its liabilities in the same range.

Jorge Perez, the hospital's owner, reportedly owes $120,000 in back taxes and thousands more to others, including back pay to employees.

Read the full report here.

 

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