Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hospice Wars III - Good Samaritan Bites the Dust

In a totally anticlimatic event, Good Samaritan Hospice closed its doors for the last time Tuesday. The empire that Randy Gist and Ragesh Boorgu founded in October 2003 has joined A & E Hospice on the casualty list of enterprises that ran afoul of Medicare regulations, dripping of red ink at the end. According to court documents, Good Samaritan has outstanding debts of five million dollars.

Gist, CEO of Good Samaritan, initially filed for bankruptcy earlier this year at which time the company claimed 100 patients. The hospice listed only 40 patients in its care when it closed this week. From our February 18th blog:

Gist filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Decatur Federal Court. His attorney, Stuart M. Maples of Maples & Ray PC, is asking that Good Samaritan's payments to Medicare be reduced from $84,000.00 to $25,000.00 per month. Gist claims an average monthly income of $212,000.00, making the currently scheduled payment almost 40% of the agency's gross receipts.

Stuart Maples stated this week that it was Randy Gist's decision to close the hospice doors at this time. One may infer that with a shrinking number of patients and rising debts, Good Samaritan no longer had the financial means to make payroll.

According to Maples, the company's assets will be sold to repay its debts. The salient question now has to be just what are the company's assets? The Haleyville and Madison offices were closed months ago and their assets presumably liquidated at that time. Those who have visited the company's offices on Dr. Hicks Boulevard in Florence usually came away remarking on the sparseness of furnishings, if not the outright shabbiness. How did the company accumulate five million dollars of debt in less than six years, and where did the money go?

We're sure quite a few creditors will be asking that last question at the July 28th hearing in Decatur. We're also sure there will be some surprising answers.

Reminder: Be sure to catch Sheffield native Will Stutts in the UNA Summer Theatre production of Amadeus, running today through Sunday.