Oklahoma hospital down to 8 employees after missing payroll for months

Ayla Ellison (Twitter) - Print  | 

Fairfax (Okla.) Community Hospital had 60 employees at the end of last year. Now, the 15-bed hospital has eight employees and is working its way through the bankruptcy process.

The hospital, owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, fell behind on payroll in December and hasn't issued a paycheck since. In February, a district judge in Oklahoma determined the hospital's financial troubles posed a threat to patient safety and appointed the Fairfax Healthcare Authority, a municipal trust authority, as receiver to assume operational control of the facility. However, the hospital remains on shaky financial footing.

"After we were appointed receiver, it was apparent that there were a lot of debts still owed by the hospital," Fairfax Vice Mayor Charlie Cartwright told News On 6. "So the decision was made to file bankruptcy in the Northern District of Oklahoma."

The hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 17. At that time, it had less than $50,000 in assets and more than $1 million in liabilities, according to the bankruptcy petition.

Due to the financial troubles and payroll issues, more than 50 employees have left Fairfax Community Hospital since the end of 2018.

"I don't blame them for leaving," Fairfax Community Hospital CNO Donna Renfro told News On 6. "People have had to leave to support their families."

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