Kansas hospital is stable despite manager's financial struggles, CEO says

The CEO of Horton (Kan.) Community Hospital said the a 25-bed critical access hospital is stable despite the financial struggles of its manager, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Horton Community Hospital is managed by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, which also operates hospitals in Tennessee and Oklahoma. Hospitals managed by the company have reported various issues in recent weeks. Hillsboro (Kan.) Community Hospital nearly had its power shut off due to unpaid utility bills. And several Oklahoma and Tennessee hospitals, including Fairfax (Okla.) Community Hospital, reported last month that they were behind on payroll.

But Ty Compton, CEO of the Horton Community Hospital, told the Capital-Journal the Horton facility hasn't had the same issues reported at other EmpowerHMS facilities.

"We had one paycheck, I think, that was delayed one day, maybe two days," he said. "To my understanding, our utility bills are current."

He added that be believes Horton Community Hospital is "sitting in a very similar position with a lot of the other rural hospitals and that "ownership is working to make sure that our jobs are secure and that our patients in our communities have healthcare access."

But Horton Police Chief John Calhoon, who has been the city's administrator, told the Capital-Journal he has had to continuously reach out monthly to local hospital leaders and often corporate leaders to get payment, although it usually comes through.

EmpowerHMS is under investigation for its alleged involvement in a lab billing fraud scheme, KCUR reported, according to the Capital-Journal. The Capital-Journal said related lawsuits and reduced reimbursements have contributed to financial struggles at Empower hospitals.

EmpowerHMS CEO Jorge Perez has not responded to Becker's Hospital Review's requests for comment about issues at the company's facilities.

 

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