Employees at a local hospital are outraged and say they haven’t been paid in weeks.
The employees don’t know when they will be paid, since the psychiatric facility has now abruptly shut down.
HopeBridge officials say they had no other choice but to shut down the hospital after it failed to meet certain accreditation standards and could no longer receive money from Medicaid or Medicare.
The hospital discharged its last patient Wednesday morning. Then 160 employees were told they would not be paid – at least, not yet.
HopeBridge administrators say they were counting on a $500,000 payment from a managed care provider called Cenpatico. They say late Tuesday, Cenpatico backed out on the agreement and refused to send the money.
Because of that, HopeBridge says it cannot make its payroll, which means employees are not only out of jobs; they’re out thousands of dollars.
“Tomorrow is the 18th, so we have bills to pay, daycare expenses, just living our everyday expenses that we was promises that we are not getting,” said former hospital employee Charlene Freeman.
Anthony Brown, HopeBridge CFO, spoke out Wednesday.
“As soon as the insurance company pays us and the bank releases the funds, we will pay the employees,” he said. “The patients were first and foremost, the employees are next, and we will take care of them.”
HopeBridge says it is working through the legal system to collect the funds it says Cenpatico owes them.
We contacted Austin-based Cenpatico for comment Wednesday afternoon. So far, they have no responded.