Rural hospitals affiliated with KC-based network fall behind on bills

Multiple rural hospitals spanning four states have failed to meet payroll or defaulted on rent and utilities. The hospitals are affiliated with North Kansas City-based EmpowerHMS.

Empower is led by Florida resident Jorge Perez, who has led the acquisitions of more than a dozen rural hospitals in Missouri, California and the Southeast.

Empower has publicized a strategy of taking over distressed hospitals “to avert their closure.”

Hillsboro Community Hospital in Hillsboro, Kansas, owes more than $28,000 in utility bills and was twice late to pay its employees in December.

Three Empower hospitals in Oklahoma have also struggled financially, and another Oklahoma hospital might shut its doors amid speculations that arose when its CEO resigned.

A community hospital in Tennessee failed to meet payroll multiple times last month. An Arkansas medical center paid its employees late for months following layoffs and concerns that it would shut its doors.

Read more: KCUR

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