A bizarre series of unrelated events led to bankruptcy and murder involving three different hospitals last week.
In Granada Hills, Calif., a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge denied a request to close 139-bed Granada Hills Community Hospital, in the wake of the hospital's chief executive officer's alleged disappearance and the discovery that millions of dollars may be missing. Tampa, Fla.-based turnaround company Healthcare Resource Specialists, a subsidiary of Bay Management, has been managing the hospital. James Doulgeris, a principal of Healthcare Resource Specialists and interim president and CEO of the hospital, was scheduled to return from a vacation after the July Fourth weekend. Creditors said he never came back.
On July 9, agents of the Internal Revenue Service told the bankruptcy court that about $2.5 million in employee withholding taxes deducted by the hospital was never paid to the IRS. Reached at his Florida home Doulgeris denied any wrongdoing and said he's not hiding from anyone. "Because I have nothing to hide. Nobody's talked to me," Doulgeris said. "I'm astounded. ... I absolutely did nothing wrong."
In a July 22 motion to the court, the hospital's foundation asked the court's permission to close the hospital's emergency room and begin discharging patients as a prelude to closure. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Greenwald denied the motion and appointed a trustee, David Gottlieb, to research options for the facility. Gottlieb is scheduled to present his report this week.
In Riverside, Calif., questionable financial arrangements with former hospital executives were one factor in the descent of 193-bed Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center from respect and profitability to bankruptcy and near closure, according to an amended disclosure filed last week with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Riverside.
Shortly after the 1995 arrival of former Parkview President and CEO Norman Martin, the hospital contracted out management of several departments to companies controlled by Martin and other hospital officers, Parkview attorney David Hershorin said. Martin referred questions to his attorney, who said the hospital board reviewed and approved the contracts.
And in Kenna, W.Va., state police issued an arrest warrant for the husband of Linda Culp, president and CEO of 95-bed Marymount Medical Center, London, Ky., whose body was found July 22 in a shallow grave near her home in Kenna.
Gary Culp, who faces a charge of first-degree murder, was believed to be traveling toward either Utah or Colorado, according to Maj. Gary McGraw of the West Virginia State Police. Linda Culp, who was 55, took over the top post at Marymount, part of Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, in April after working for about three decades at 252-bed St. Joseph's Hospital, Parkersburg, W.Va.
-With Michael Romano