Pile of RVHS bills getting smaller after buyout

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 24, 2003

The pile of bills - that at one time amounted to approximately $19 million- is getting smaller, and the court-appointed receiver said he expects most of the former hospital's remaining debt to be wiped out within a year.

Robert Payne, C.P.A., said many creditors have accepted a buyout offer that Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Frank McCown authorized him to make about a month and a half ago. Under the terms of the offer, the creditor would receive 25 percent of the total amount owed to the entity by the former hospital. This offer has resulted in $2.5 million in claims being settled.

"We've been paying out quite a bit," Payne said.

Email newsletter signup

Of the $5.7 million debt remaining, $2 million is owed to the United States Department of Agriculture for bonds used to pay for a new laboratory that was built just prior to the hospital's closing. That money is being paid back in yearly installments, with the final installment being scheduled for March 2005.

"The government is not charging us interest," Payne said. "Instead of giving it (the money owed) to them at one time, we're letting the money draw interest and we're using that interest to pay other creditors."

Another $800,000 is owed to the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation, but Payne said he is hopeful that figure can be reduced.

"The hospital paid its premiums every month but somehow they figured out we owed

$3 million. We got it whittled down to $800,000 and I hope we get it whittled down even more."

The rest of the money is owed to a variety of vendors.

Payne said

of the $19 million in debts the hospital originally owed, $6 million in debts were contested. The receivership refused to pay approximately $1.3 million in interest and penalties that had been added to some of the bills.