The lawyer for a struggling Iberville Parish hospital told a bankruptcy court judge today it would be able to meet payroll through Feb. 20. But CEO Bryan Bogle—who was fired—told WBRZ-TV that River West Medical Center in Plaquemine would effectively close. Hospital officials said they would have a statement after an afternoon meeting, and a hospital employee told Daily Report they were told the hospital was closing Tuesday with the exception of its emergency room.
Gary McKenzie, the attorney who represented Louisiana’s health department before federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Douglas Dodd, said to the best of his knowledge, the hospital was to stay open. Dodd’s last-minute entry said he would order a federal trustee to appoint a patient care ombudsman. He also ordered the hospital to get his permission before selling or turning over property or settling with any creditors.
The state advanced $150,000 last month, when River West was unable to cover paychecks for 65 of its 250 workers. Bogle blamed the economy and an insurance dispute after Hurricane Gustav that closed inpatient services for 45 days. River West has 80 beds.