Oklahoma hospital operator ousted over 'immediate threat' to patient safety

In a ruling issued Feb. 27, a district judge in Oklahoma determined Fairfax (Okla.) Community Hospital's financial troubles pose a threat to patient safety, according to Pawhuska Journal-Capital.

The judge's ruling came after the town of Fairfax filed a civil lawsuit in December against the hospital's owner, Kansas City, Mo.-based EmpowerHMS, seeking to have a receiver appointed to assume operational control of the facility.

The hospital is one of several EmpowerHMS hospitals that have experienced financial challenges, including payroll issues and lack of funds for supplies, in recent months. In January, Miami-based iHealthcare entered into a management agreement with Fairfax Community Hospital, but EmpowerHMS is still responsible for fulfilling the hospital's financial obligations, including payroll and other operating expenses.

On Feb. 27, the court determined the hospital is insolvent and an "immediate threat to the health and safety of current and future patients exists," according to the Pawhuska Journal-Capital. The court named Fairfax Healthcare Authority, a municipal trust authority, to be the receiver and assume operation of Fairfax Community Hospital.

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