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Tri Lakes Medical

Tri-Lakes demands payment from Corkern

By John Howell

Batesville Hospital Management, Inc. faces a May 23 deadline for payment of over $775,000 for care administered to its patients by the bankrupt Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

Batesville Hospital Hospital Management operates a long term acute care hospital (LTACH) owned by Dr. Robert Corkern. It entered a agreement with Physicians and Surgeons Hospital Group, Inc., the non-profit corporation which owns Tri-Lakes Medical Center, in February, 2007, leasing 12 beds — a hospital within the hospital — to operate the long term care facility within the hospital. Tri-Lakes filed for chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy last August.

Patients presently in the LTACH unit will be moved to the hospital’s acute care beds or places will be found in other LTACH facilities, Michael Morgan said. Morgan is Tri-Lakes’ Chief Restructuring Officer who was appointed in December to administer the hospital’s turnaround.

Morgan said the Mississippi Department of Health’s Facilities and Licensure division has been notified of Tri-Lakes’ demand.  Also, the process will be worked through the bankruptcy court with the proper motions and orders.  

Morgan said that the largest component of the debt — $649,205 — has come from “direct and ancillary services” which includes X-rays, visits by therapists and medicines that the hospital has continued to provide LTACH patients. Records provided under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that Corkern paid $124,428 toward the direct and ancillary services debt in December at the time Morgan was named CRO. He has subsequently paid $22,753 in March, leaving the $649,205 balance.

Other debts due Tri-Lakes include payment for the use of Tri-Lakes’ LTACH certificate of need which is $22,753 quarterly and monthly rent for the hospital beds at $29,269. Payment by Batesville Hospital Management to Tri-Lakes during 2008 for bed rent has totaled $65,100 leaving a balance of $81,244.

The records show that Batesville Hospital Management last made a payment of $68,258 in December to Tri-Lakes for use of its certificate of need. That balance presently stands at $45,505.