Billing errors, unpaid taxes signaled trouble for now bankrupt Pioneer Health Services

There were several signs that all was not well at Magee, Miss.-based Pioneer Health Services prior to it filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April.

One of those red flags was problems with PHS' billing, according to the Independent Herald. Many patients who went to Pioneer Community Hospital of Scott in Oneida, Tenn., for care complained of the hospital's billing mistakes. Although PHS initially said the billing mishaps were due to licensure issues, patients continued to experience billing issues, according to the report.

Another sign that PHS may have been experiencing problems came to light in late 2015, when Cigna filed a lawsuit alleging PHS had failed to pay its share of some of its employees' insurance plans. Cigna is seeking $1.7 million in damages, according to the report.

A third red flag was the IRS's $500,000 tax lien against Pioneer Community Hospital of Scott, which will shut down permanently June 26. This isn't the first time the company has fallen behind on tax payments. PHS reportedly amassed $315,000 in unpaid property taxes in Newton County, Miss., before it closed Pioneer Community Hospital of Newton in December 2015.

PHS owns hospitals in Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.

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