Missouri, Tennessee hospitals suspend services: 5 things to know

Lauderdale Community Hospital in Ripley, Tenn., and I-70 Community Hospital in Sweet Springs, Mo., are suspending services amid their owner's financial troubles.

Five things to know:

1. I-70 Community Hospital voluntarily suspended its license for 90 days on Feb. 15. The 15-bed hospital was "out of regulatory compliance," Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams, MD, told The Kansas City Star.

2. Lauderdale Community Hospital's emergency room shut down on Feb. 15 after no physicians showed up for work due to not being paid, according to WMC Action News 5.

3. "We've had some cash flow issues, and the doctors want to be paid before they come in and have some assurances," Michael Layfield, CEO of Lauderdale Community Hospital, told WMC. The hospital's ER is closed until further notice.

4. I-70 Community Hospital and Lauderdale Community Hospital are both owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS. Other hospitals owned by EmpowerHMS have reported financial challenges in recent months. Most recently, the company failed to pay staff at Washington County Hospital in Plymouth, N.C., on Feb. 8 and abruptly closed Oswego (Kan.) Community Hospital on Feb. 14.

5. In January, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that EmpowerHMS owes roughly $1.8 million in real estate and property taxes for hospitals it operates across seven states. I-70 Community Hospital is two years behind on property taxes and owes roughly $370,000, according to The Kansas City Star. Lauderdale Community Hospital owes roughly $350,000 in back taxes, according to WMC Action News 5.

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