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RVHS collection, probe continues

Work to collect funds owed River Valley Health System and to provide information to federal investigators is continuing, the hospital’s court-appointed receiver said.

Tuesday, April 03, 2001

Work to collect funds owed River Valley Health System and to provide information to federal investigators is continuing, the hospital’s court-appointed receiver said.

"What we’re doing now is preserving assets as much as possible," accountant Bob Payne said.

It’s difficult to determine exactly what is owed by and to the hospital, as well as what’s coming into its accounts, because there are so many complex processes like billing for Medicare, Payne said.

Payments by the government are made on an average basis at first and then reconciled later after a Medicare audit, for example, he explained.

As filed in court, the receiver’s report dated March 16 shows a balance after all payments of $1,225,834.63.

The report also states that the RVHS facilities are being secured by sheriff’s deputies, while Payne and his staff provide information to state auditors and other government agencies.

The audit is a 13-month audit for the year 2000 and the month of January.

The report also states, "the receiver has twice met with the United States Assistant Attorney general Doug Squires in reference to the hospital problems and in addition to that has met with federal government department agencies and their representatives and has also met with the FBI and federal investigators in reference to the hospital."

The FBI could not be reached for comment this morning, but has said previously that it could neither confirm nor deny any investigation.

Payne said the FBI came in requesting information and documents.

"Most of it is a lot of people have called their congressmen and I think they have been pushed to come in to investigate," he said.

The receiver is selling perishable items of the hospital’s inventory, and has collected the following funds:

– First Star, $440,827.45, which doesn’t include the $488,193.13 that First Star froze Jan. 17 and is still pending in court.

– Lawrence County Commission, $10,000 for medical records transportation costs.

– Lawrence County Commission, $26,977.50 in back rent collected by the county during the emergency period of time from Shawnee Mental Health.

– The receiver has earned $675.95 in interest to date.

– The receivables and patient accounts have paid $767,810.36.

The receiver has also directed lawsuits to be filed to collect funds owed the hospital because of breech of contract or failure to pay.

Multiple lawsuits filed against the hospital, seeking money owed for supplies and equipment and seeking judgment on frozen bank accounts, are still pending before Judge Everett Burton in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Also in court recently, Judge Burton signed orders March 26 to pay for receiver work and attorney fees totaling just over $31,000.

On March 22, Burton gave the receiver authority to hire personnel to provide building security; to hire workers for answering audits, subpoenas and claims; to advertise that creditors can file claims and provide forms for claims; to pay rents as needed; to make monthly reports to the court; and to obtain and negotiate offers to manage or operate the former RVHS facilities, with approval required on all proposals by the court.