Tulare Hospital Board Seeks to Force HCCA to Turn Over Financials, Stop Looking for Loans

Arguments were heard Friday morning and will be continued to Monday.

Members of the Tulare Local Healthcare District’s Board of Directors have taken their first strike at Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA) in court.

Lawyers with McCormick Barstow, the firm which represents the district, will argue in favor of a proposed temporary restraining order that would prevent HCCA from entering into any contracts on behalf of the district, putting up any assets of the district as collateral, entering into any loans, or settling any lawsuits against the district without a vote of the majority of the board.

Northcraft, Jamaica and Gutierrez want to ensure that HCCA cannot seek loans, enter into contracts, or settle lawsuits on behalf of the District without the board’s approval through a court order.

 

The firm is also requesting an injunction that would force the hospital management company to turn over large amounts of detailed financial data, including payroll reports, financial statements, balance sheets, bank reconciliations, vendor contracts, and accounts payable reports.

They’ll join lawyers from the Tulare County District Attorney’s office when they head to the Tulare County Superior Court court on Friday morning.

The District Attorney’s office plans to argue that Bruce Greene, a lawyer representing Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, and Richard Torrez, a board member, should be forced to recognize Senovia Gutierrez as a seated member of the hospital’s board.

Board members Kevin Northcraft, Mike Jamaica, and Senovia Gutierrez had previously voted to rescind HCCA’s authority to seek loans on behalf of the district, but officials with HCCA stated that because Gutierrez hadn’t been recognized by the existing board, such a vote wasn’t official or legal.

A temporary restraining order would provide an end-run around any disagreement over Gutierrez’ status.

Northcraft and Jamaica both claim that time is of the essence, and that the hospital management company may currently be seeking to execute a loan, in contravention of their vote.

“I have recently been informed by employees of the District that HCCA and its agents have been taking inventory of personal property and equipment belonging to the District,” Jamaica states. “I have been informed that HCCA’s apparent purpose for inventorying the District’s property is so that HCCA can obtain a loan in the approximate amount of $100 million, and HCCA intends to use the District’s real and personal property as collateral and security for the loan.”

Nikole Cunningham, an attorney representing the district, states in a declaration that she sent a letter to HCCA advising them against any moves to secure a loan without the consent of the board, and requesting written confirmation that the company wouldn’t move to take out any such loan.

Cunningham claims she never received a reply.

In both Jamaica’s and Northcraft’s declarations, they state that they were informed by employees of the hospital that HCCA “failed to pay several obligations to Hospital vendors, including the Hospital’s linen and meal providers, which caused those vendors to discontinue service to the Hospital on September 11, 2017,” information which the Voice has also independently received from sources at the hospital.

They also state that they were informed that “the Hospital’s supply of saline is dangerously low, and other necessary hospital supplies are also low,” but that no member of hospital management has provided them with any information regarding those issues or others, including a recent confirmation by Southern California Edison that electricity bills for the tower construction project have gone unpaid.

Arguments by McCormick Barstow and the district attorney’s office will be heard at 8:30am, September 15, in Department 1 of the Tulare County Superior Court at 221 S. Mooney, Visalia.

Dr. Benny Benzeevi, CEO of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, did not reply to a request for comment regarding this story, or prior requests for comment regarding information the Voice received that the district might be pursuing a loan. Should a response be received, this article will be updated.

 

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

6 thoughts on “Tulare Hospital Board Seeks to Force HCCA to Turn Over Financials, Stop Looking for Loans

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  1. Benny and his brother Iddo are basically slick thieves, Israeli mafia background. Iddo is the smarter, Benny is not so smart as those who have worked with him at Kaweah Delta and TRMC ER’s can attest to. He is coached by his bro who must be proud of how far he’s come. But you dont have to be so smart to steal a public entity from Tulare taxpayers if you have facilitators in place such as Parmod Kumar, a few flunkies like Wilbourn and Torrez and a few complicit doctors like Olstrum Zulim and Mackaluso who have nowhere else to go. And a few remaining loyal staff members to watch your back. You can steal a hundred mil or so. Its a heist anybody could be proud of !!

    • Very astute comments (congrats for getting it past the censors). This “steal(ing)” of a “public entity from Tulare taxpayers” is a small example of what is going on all over the world by the “mafia” you speak of. Let the rest of the country learn from our humble Tulare citizens; we can fight back!

  2. 1- Somehow a lot of homeless patients are visiting TRMC ER. They are medi-cal patients and hospital does make money having them as their “guest”. Interestingly, they all are Dr Parmod Kumar’s patients. They are being admitted again & again. Something similar had happened in LA a few years ago. Medicare shut down that hospital.

    2- There was a case of kidney stone. Dr Fightlin – who was relieved of his privileges at Porterville hospital BUT still had at TRMC – operated and patient ended up nearly dying and had to have a kidney removed. Hospital admin canceled his privileges in an unannounced meeting in late night hours BUT failed to inform Dr Fightlin. This lawsuit is indefensible for the hospital.

    3- My friends in billing department tell me that there is very aggressive billing going on. Every one visiting ER is getting all kinds of unnecessary testing. Patients are being admitted for reasons that can be managed without admitting to hospital.

    When feds come knocking, it will take them less than a week to put these guys behind bar for a long long time.

  3. I just got a bill from trmc. lab for 10/2016 for 350 dollars I had already paid $585 for. All I had was a cbc chem panel and lipids. Same tests cost $85 at Labcorp. REALLY

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