Financial troubles force Oklahoma hospital to hold food drives to feed patients

Employees of Prague (Okla.) Community Hospital used their own money and relied on donations from local nonprofits to feed patients in recent months, according to News9.  

The hospital, which is owned and operated by an affiliate of Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, has faced financial troubles for months, including payroll issues and lack of funds for supplies. The hospital has managed to stay open due to the dedication of its employees, Cori Loomis, an attorney for the City of Prague, told News 9.

"The employees of Prague are the real heroes of this. They stayed on despite not being paid for a month, to make sure that care was carried out to their neighbors and friends," she said.

In January, the City of Prague sued EmpowerHMS and its affiliates and began trying to secure a new owner or management company for the hospital. On Feb. 19, a federal judge ordered EmpowerHMS to begin operating the hospital in "the normal course of business," which includes paying employees and providing food for patients.

The company was found in contempt of court on March 8 after failing to follow the court's order. Lawyers for the city have 30 days to calculate how much the violation cost the city, according to the report.

Shawnee, Okla.-based Cohesive Healthcare Management and Consulting took over operations of the hospital earlier this month and will run the hospital while the legal issues are worked through. The new management company paid employees March 8, according to the report.

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