PITTSBURG — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office introduced Wednesday it had done a seek warrant in February at Oswego Community Hospital, considered one of three clinical facilities in Labette County to unexpectedly near their doors simply over a week earlier than the warrant was served. “The lawyer standard’s office done a seek warrant on February 22 at Oswego Community Hospital,” C.J. Grover, a spokesman for Schmidt’s workplace, wrote in an emailed response to an inquiry from the Morning Sun. “This is ongoing research, and we don’t have any further comment at the moment.” Along with the shuttered Oswego Community Clinic and Chetopa Community Clinic, the medical institution has been controlled by way of North Kansas City, Missouri-based EmpowerHMS totally. On Tuesday, reports emerged that another Kansas clinic previously run by the agency, Horton Community Hospital in Brown County, had also closed. Several other EmpowerHMS-controlled hospitals in a couple of states have additionally closed in recent months. Kansas Gov.
Laura Kelly released a assertion Wednesday that her workplace turned into directing country companies to help former employees of the Horton sanatorium, who were running for weeks without pay. “I’m involved for the network of Horton as they face the serious lack of their nearby health center,” Kelly said in the declaration. “This is becoming a miles too common occurrence in our state. Local hospitals are key to the health of Kansas households and are frequently one of the biggest employers in a small metropolis. Elected leaders should paintings collectively to do extra to help our neighborhood hospitals.” Kelly’s office can be working with the country trade and hard work departments to provide help for the health facility’s former employees, starting with informational meetings deliberate for 1 to three p.M. Thursday on the Horton Public Library. Moreover, the Topeka Capital-Journal suggested that Grover announced that the AG’s office is investigating Horton Community Hospital but would not remark in addition. EmpowerHMS does not list touch facts on its website. However, a call to a number previously related to the business enterprise, which now answers as Rural Community Hospitals of America — a corporation with ties to EmpowerHMS CEO and Miami, Florida-based businessman Jorge Perez totally — turned into the no longer lower back by way of press time Wednesday. Tim Lentz, who became mayor of Horton for over a decade, “stated Jorge Perez should be locked in prison for the failure to pay personnel who endured to reveal up whilst Perez offered ‘smoke and mirrors,” consistent with the Capital-Journal. Jessica Mayfield, former lab director for Oswego Community Hospital, said Wednesday that she had heard from different former employees that the keys to the Oswego medical institution had been becoming over to kingdom investigators, who have been going via the ability’s information. “Nobody has been capable of getting entry to their records,” she said.
Mayfield said that at the same time as it becomes nonetheless open, the clinic got its lab resources to shape several one-of-a-kind vendors and might submit payments for payments to EmpowerHMS’s corporate office. However, the employer could frequently refuse to pay. Under strain from personnel, payments could from time to time be in the end protected inside the past, she said, but the scenario started to get worse in early 2018, and with the aid of the quit of the 12 months, the clinic should barely characteristic. Mayfield, a mother of 3, stated she has not discovered comparable work following the health center’s closure. “If I want to paintings nights, I can get a complete-time job,” she stated, “but I can’t do that due to the fact I even have young children.” Most people she worked with at the health center have likewise been not able to locate new jobs, Mayfield introduced. “As far as I recognise, the whole lot is out of our palms,” she said, “and the state is investigating now.”