A bankrupt company warned Friday it could close a hospital in the Mississippi Delta if it couldn’t transfer ownership within weeks.
Curae Health filed documents Friday in U.S. bankruptcy court in Nashville, Tennessee, claiming that the Northwestern Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale is losing so much money it could bring the company into bankruptcy before it goes bankrupt. be able to sell Amory and Batesville hospitals. Curae filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in August, saying it would sell all three hospitals.
The company cites $ 57 million in liabilities versus $ 12.6 million in assets, saying revenue has fallen below levels needed to pay off debt.
The Knoxville, Tennessee company sent a letter to 484 employees at Clarksdale Hospital on Friday warning them of a possible closure in December.
Curae rents the Coahoma County Hospital for $ 500,000 per year. Coahoma County supervisor Paul Pearson said supervisors hired a consultant on Monday to help them search for a new operator.
“The closure of the hospital is unacceptable,” Pearson said.
Pearson said Curae was willing to transfer the lease to a new operator at no cost if the new operator took over the responsibilities. He said at least two groups have expressed interest in taking over the hospital and that a third potential bidder could emerge in the coming days.
One obstacle for a new operator would be a need for four to six months of cash flow. Pearson said the hospital costs $ 5 million per month to operate and the revenue may not be reliably paid to a new operator setting up billing systems for a period of up to six months.
US bankruptcy judge Charles Walker has set a hearing for October 23 on Curae’s request for a speedy transfer.
Curae plans to auction Amory Gilmore Memorial Hospital on November 15. Walker approved a plan appointing Tupelo-based North Mississippi Health Services to act as the first bidder to offer $ 10.5 million in cash. Others could also participate in the auction. State Senator Hob Bryan, an Amory Democrat, calls for the creation of a non-profit community to buy Amory Hospital, saying this would maximize the medical services available in Amory over time. North Mississippi Health Services CEO Shane Spees told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the hospital system has no plans to withdraw Amory’s services, with Spees saying he sees growth.
Amory Mayor Brad Blalock and the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce don’t favor one proposal over another, but Blalock stressed the importance of maintaining a strong medical community.
Curae did not disclose plans to sell Panola Medical Center in Batesville.
Hospitals are the latest to fight in Mississippi. The Magee General Hospital is also listed in Chapter 11. Five rural Mississippi hospitals have closed since 2013, while the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program reports that 87 rural hospitals have closed nationwide since 2010. Curae has closed a hospital in Haleyville, Alabama, in January.
Following:Mississippi hospitals and their owner file for bankruptcy and will be sold
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