Lake Whitney Medical Center (File)
WHITNEY (September 13, 2013)--The Lake Whitney Medical Center, which is embroiled in an ownership dispute, came up with enough money Friday to meet its payroll for a second time as officials try to find a way to keep the facility open.
The hospital was able to come up with $70,000, just enough to pay its 70 employees Friday.
The last payroll was covered only after the hospital received a $90,000 loan from an unnamed benefactor.
The hospital’s legal owner, Dr. Tariq Mahmood, 61, is free on $25,000 bond after he was indicted in April by a federal grand jury in Tyler.
He’s charged with conspiracy to commit more than $1 million in health care fraud in nine separate counts, but denies the accusations.
He owned or operated four other hospitals in Texas, including the Central Texas Hospital, Cozby, Germany Hospital in Grand Saline, Renaissance Terrell Hospital in Terrell, Community General Hospital in Dilley, Shelby Regional Medical Center in Center, and Central Texas Hospital in Cameron, court documents showed.
CTH Inc., which leased the Cameron facility to Mahmood, won a temporary restraining order against him to keep the facility open and protect hospital equipment and documents.
The facility was turned over to Milam County Sheriff David Greene who is currently in control of the hospital by court order.
Under the terms of a settlement with CTH, Mahmood agreed to give up the operating license for the hospital.
Now, CTH Inc. must sign a new owner and operator, and give Central Texas Hospital a major facelift to keep it afloat.
Little River Medical Center is likely to take over the hospital, officials said.
Meanwhile the Whitney Hospital Authority board says Mahmood still owes more than $200,000 on the 49-bed facility and is trying to regain ownership while looking for a potential buyer.
On Friday, just two patients were in the hospital, which halted admissions after the state shut down the facility’s lab.
The lab was reopened this week.