Hospital owner makes promises after closing

By Jeff Ferrell – bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –  The owner of an Ark-La-Tex hospital responded to KSLA News 12 just days after that hospital closed its doors.  It's a message with big promises for all the employees left with no job and no paycheck, so far.

KSLA News 12 was there when employees arrived on Friday (2/19) afternoon only to be told that they could not pick-up their final paychecks.  But, in an email to KSLA, Doctors Hospital owner Chris LeBlanc wrote:  "The hospital intends on issuing the paychecks to the employees next week when some more money comes into the account."

Employees we met, like Joyce Pinchera, didn't know what to think.  "They said by law 14 days it has to be made good."

Owner Chris Le blanc, based in Plano, Texas also wrote:  "We have reached out (to) the health insurance agency that handles the Doctors' plan and are awaiting a phone call back to have the plan reinstated through the end of February."

That issue arose when employees noticed their insurance was still getting deducted from their paychecks, despite the fact the hospital had already stopped paying the insurance premiums.  Local management told employees like nurse Jason Pate, that they had contacted the Louisiana Insurance Commission about that issue.

Pate recalled what local management was reportedly told by that commission office:  "They can file a complaint through their office but it'd be better if they contacted the state police."

The email also confirmed that a substantial drop in reimbursement levels forced the closure of Doctors Hospital.  LeBlanc ended his email message writing quote:  "Maybe a group of investors will step up and get something going at the hospital, but I realize these are tough economic times."

Now former employees, like Tracy Crain, tell us they are considering their own message:  "We just signed a pad for everybody's name and number and they're talking about class action lawsuit."

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