Tri Lakes Medical

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2008

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.

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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.