HCCA CEO Creates New Lending Company

Tulare’s hospital CEO has branched out into a new arena: finance.

Research by the Voice has revealed that a new healthcare finance company, Vi Healthcare Finance, Inc, was registered at the home address of Dr. Benny Benzeevi, CEO of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA) the company which runs Tulare Regional Medical Center (TRMC).

That company was recently considered by the Southern Inyo Healthcare District Board of Directors for a line of credit, though the Voice has been unable to confirm whether the board voted to approve the loan.

The line of credit is both to repay existing debt to HCCA and fund the district’s ongoing operational expenses.

A presentation from a May board meeting showed that the Southern Inyo district owed HCCA upwards of $1m in management fees and $813,184 in a line of credit extended from the hospital management company; the Southern Inyo district had only repaid $346,383 as of the meeting.

A resolution up for for consideration by the district’s board of directors on July 11, again on July 15, and once more on July 19, stated that the company was “willing to extend a line of credit to the District and to loan funds to the District pursuant to such line of credit from time to time, which line of credit will be secured by the anticipated tax revenues of the District.”

The company was registered with the California Secretary of State’s office on June 30 of this year, with papers signed by Bruce Greene, the same attorney that represents both Tulare Local Healthcare District and HCCA.

Greene also signed off on HCCA’s incorporation papers after it was chosen as the hospital’s operating partner.

Separate Paths

Benzeevi spoke to the Voice and confirmed his involvement with the new company, but wanted to make clear that it’s a separate enterprise, unrelated to his other ventures.

Benzeevi, in addition to being President/CEO of HCCA, is also the president of Medflow, a company that was originally contracted to assist TRMC with its emergency room services. Another business, Tulare Asset Management, is also registered at the same address as Vi Healthcare Finance.

“[Vi] is a lending company that lends money,” Benzeevi said. “It has nothing to do with Tulare – Inyo has a need and it’s an offering for them.”

While the company did offer the Southern Inyo Healthcare District a loan, Benzeevi stated that the company isn’t specifically targeting the Lone Pine hospital or Tulare’s.

“We have a lot of businesses. This just happens to be something that came to — it has nothing to do with anybody, anywhere.”

He added that there are not many lenders focusing on hospitals or healthcare providers.

“It wasn’t formed due to any of the hospitals. If a hospital happens to be a borrower,” Benzeevi said, “we’re willing to entertain the hospital as a borrower.”

 

Open Authorizations

Although HCCA has two standing authorizations granted by the hospital’s board of directors to seek and execute loans, Benzeevi reiterated that Vi’s financing operation was unrelated.

“If Tulare has a need, [Vi] could be for them too. But it has nothing to do with any of these hospitals,” he said. “[Southern Inyo] has a need, and that company lends money. It has nothing to do with HCCA or any of the other companies. It’s its own different business.”

On March 22, HCCA was authorized to seek approximately $79m — intended to both fund completion of the hospital’s beleaguered tower project and redeem existing bonds — from both HUD-backed lenders and alternative financiers, to find the option that would work the best for the hospital’s needs.

More recently, on June 20, HCCA was authorized to seek a $22m loan to cover operating expenses and repayment of existing debt.

Benzeevi made clear that the hospital’s leadership hadn’t found a suitable lender for the loans yet — including any options with Vi Healthcare.

“I have no plans at this point. At this point in time – what we want to do is find the best terms and lowest interest rate,” he said.

“I don’t know that Vi is the one to do that.”

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

23 thoughts on “HCCA CEO Creates New Lending Company

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  1. Come on BenzeeVi don’t play us for fools. Inyo hospital owes you for ridiculous management fees and loans. Vi financial doesn’t have to come up with a dime. Instead they will paper loan Inyo and in turn end up getting paid principle and interest (probably an outrageous rate) from the taxpayers of Inyo County. I wonder if BenzeeVi even disclosed his interest in Vi financial to the SIHD.

    Btw let’s not pretend that he was or will to the same to TRMC

  2. Couple more points; first, the SIHD resolution found on the HCCA website specifically states the loan is for payment to HCCA debt.
    Secondly, HCCA attorney Greene who Advises HCCA, TRMC, Vi Healthcare Finance, Medflow and SIHD probably is getting his bill paid from the Loan (taxpayer $$$) authorized by the Resolution he advises their Board to approve. Ethics?

  3. This guy can think of more ways to screw the Tulare Health Care System. Why can’t he think of ways to give better care at our hospital?

  4. I see way to much conflict of interest here with Benzeevie managing hospitals and at the same time lending this same hospitals money to pay himself off. What kind of people do we have on the board that would allow someone like Benzeevie near our hospital? Benzeevie and his companies should be investigated to make sure he is not ripping off tax payers.

  5. This is from the Southern Inyo Hospital board agenda for today’s meeting

    B. Consideration of approval of a Line of Credit with Vi Healthcare
    Finance, Inc., to be secured with a pledge of future tax revenues
    in accordance with Board Resolution 17-4
    C. Approval of waiver of conflict of interest for BakerHostetler.

    When an attorney admits they have a conflict of interest and they are asking you to “waive” it…..RUN!!

  6. Approximately 2/3’s of the voters rejected Measure I. Approximately 2/3’s of the voters rejected Bell’s run for reelection, over 60 percent rejected Gadke,s run for reelection and just this month, in excess if 80 percent of the voters recalled Dr. Kumar. When are you going to get message Benzeevi? We don’t like you, we don’t trust you, we don’t want you as our hospital CEO. You have taken enough of our money, now leave.

  7. AMEN DAVE, we must stop the hemorrhaging of every dollar of profit from our community, its citizens, and our weakened healthcare infrastructure, before its too late. The good taxpayers of our community have sacrificed the dream of exemplary healthcare for our citizens long enough.
    Charity begins in the home, and when we are continuing to struggle to provide even the most basic of necessary services to our community , we cannot afford to keep funding HCCA’s good time..

    CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF WE ARE NOT A NEVER ENDING ATM MACHINE STANDING AT ATTENTION READY and WILLINGTO throw our funds away on every crackpot idea that HCCA comes up with.

  8. What fools Southern Inyo Hospitals board are!!! First paying that ridiculous amount in management fees for a hospital that just needs to close…STOP THE BLEED…..now you are considering turning over tax monies of the district for an eternity…. SIHD will never be able to sustain financially. HCCA has not improved the way the hospital runs it is just trying to keep face because they don’t want to fail!!! GIVE IT UP…..Also what is going to happen when Tulare isn’t footing the bill anymore for supplies, payroll, and whatever else HCCA has Tulare helping SIHD with?
    HCCA needs to go!

    • Wilbourn, Kumar and Torrez have basically given HCCA authority to do in Tulare what they have just done in Southern Inyo. Very, very foolish, hope that can be stopped.

      • How you can hand over such power is beyond me. Especially knowing the mess Tulare is in with trying to regain their Hospital. Seems like it wouldn’t be a hard decision to make seeing the destruction HCCA has caused Tulare.

  9. Keep this in mind-It will take 30 days from the July 11 election for those results to be ratified! This means Kumar & his bud Benzeevi will still have the advantage of a 3-2 vote before the board! The two board members siding with Kumar should remove the hooks in their noses & start using their brain for themselves!! If they in all good concience, vote any more crap pushed by Benzeevi, Kumar or their over compensated Lawyer, then they shouldn’t be surprised to find their days on the board numbered!!

  10. Tulareresid, it takes a fool to know a fool. The fools spoke on July 11 80% said Kumar needs to go. So you would rather have HCCA there. They are doing so well that CMS (medicare) stopped paying them in March 2017 for non compliance, that is why hospital not making money. Also, they and MEC allow a doctor(surgeon) to continue to operate there, with open malpractice cases 2 involving deaths. HCCA isn’t doing us citizens any favors. Change is in the air

    • It’s pathetic that there’s 4,000 some people that should of voted and didn’t care enough about Senovia or Jesse to vote. 800 some I think voted for her and it should of been thousands so it wasn’t a slam dunk

  11. What does any of this have to do with taking care of the sick citizens of Tulare? Is this guy running a hospital or a finance company? How can this incompetent thief be in the business of lending money when he can’t even find money to finish the tower?

    • As we all know by Benzeevi’s actions, he cares more about money than patient care. I guess the oath he took as a physician doesn’t mean anything.

  12. Sure are we going to believe Benzeevi…….since he’s not paying TDH bills, he’s banking all that money to now turn around and loan it back to us…..isn’t this money laundering?
    Money laundering usually consists of three steps: placement, layering, and integration. Placement is the depositing of funds in financial institutions or the conversion of cash into negotiable instruments. Placement is the most difficult step. The easiest way to begin laundering large amounts of cash is to deposit them into a financial institution. However, under the federal Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (BSA), 31 U.S.C.A. §§ 5311 et seq., financial institutions are required to report deposits of more than $10,000 in cash made by an individual in a single day. To disguise criminal activity, launderers route cash through a “front” operation; that is, a business such as a check-cashing service or a jewelry store. Another option is to convert the cash into negotiable instruments, such as cashier’s checks, money orders, or traveler’s checks.

    He’s taking District money and putting it into his HCCA LLC…..Now it’s going into this Vi Healthcare Finance Inc?
    Too bad our DA won’t do anything about this for whatever reason he gives us…….He needs to grow a spine. We all know Benzeevi gave him campaign funds…why would he not look into what’s happening? If he’s not going to look out for the citizens of Tulare, we should vote him out if someone runs against him.

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