Hancock Medical sues management company

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hancock Medical Center's Board of Trustees has filed a federal lawsuit against its former management company. WLOX looks at the problems the suit alleges, and the hospital's current financial health.

The lawsuit claims Quorum Health Resources, based in Tennessee, mismanaged Hancock Medical Center for decades, costing the hospital millions of dollars. Among the allegations: breach of contract, negligence and corporate waste. The suit outlines claims of financial mismanagement, including failure to collect $8 million in payments from patients, and not following its own advise to cut 40 full time employees. That move alone would have saved Hancock Medical $3 million.

"The lawsuit is for the Board of Trustees to recoup losses during the time that Quorum was here. The Hancock County Board of Supervisors have loaned some money, given a line of credit to the board of trustees to help them with liquidity issues, to help them get through these tough times," said Gary Yarborough, attorney for the Hancock County Board of Supervisors.

The hospital is owned by the county and the board of supervisors appoints the board of trustees that oversees its operation. Quorum managed the day-to-day operations there for more than 20-years. But now, New Orleans based Ochsner Health System is running things.

Hancock Medical's trustees signed a two year deal with Ochsner a week ago.

Yarborough said, "They are hoping with Ochsner's coming in, it will be a good source of resource for the community and get some good healthcare here for the citizens."

Last year, Hancock Medical Center finished a $26 million renovation project that completed its post-Katrina recovery.

A spokesman from Quorum's legal department told WLOX News the company is aware of the lawsuit, but had no comment at this time.

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