Class action lawsuit filed against hospital


By Kitsey Burns Harrison - kburns@yadkinripple.com



The Yadkin Valley Community Hospital remains empty nearly four months after its unexpected closure, but former patients are still receiving hospital bills. County Manager Lisa Hughes said they have received several calls from citizens saying they are receiving bills from Yadkin Valley Community Hospital for services provided more than a year ago.

Hughes said she believed former hospital operator HMC/CAH had changed billing companies and that could be what is prompting the bills.

Hughes said patients should contact their insurance companies for the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to be sure they in fact do owe the amounts for which they are being billed.

“If the EOB says they owe it and they have not previously paid it, it is owed. Unfortunately, if it is due and not paid, they may be turned over to a collection agency,” Hughes said.

Though the hospital remains closed, progress is being made in the quest to reopen, Hughes said. The county has contracted with Spectrum Health Partners and Criterion Healthcare which will be working on a series of financial models to provide the county with options for the future of the hospital and a physical analysis of the building. Those reports are expected to be turned in to county officials by next month.

The physicians practice which was located in the hospital and operated by several physicians including Dr. James McGrath is expected to reopen next month. Hughes said McGrath is in the process of getting new credentials through the insurance companies to reopen his practice there.

In other news related to the Yadkin Valley Community Hospital, a civil class action lawsuit was filed against hospital operator HMC/CAH and Rural Hospitals of America last Thursday by former hospital employees. The court document states that HMC/CAH did not give employees “the statutorily required 60 days’ notice of the mass layoff or termination in violation of the WARN Act.”

The request from the plaintiffs to the court is for each member of the class action suit to “recover from the defendants their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation for 60 days following their respective terminations, as well as adequate compensation for defendants’ failure to make the pension and 401(k) contributions and provide employee benefits under COBRA for 60 days from and after the dates of their respective terminations; and recover its reasonable attorney’s fees from the defendants; and be granted a trial by jury on all issues so triable.”

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

kburns@yadkinripple.com

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