Massachusetts-based Hampden County Physicians Associates
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, saying “departures of doctors from the practice led to declining revenue and efforts to recruit more doctors were unsuccessful”. The hope was to get protection from creditors to allow a methodical sale of the business.
However, a news story on www.masslive.com
by Jim Kinney reports that the doctors’ offices and the associated urgent care facility have closed pending a hearing by Bankruptcy Court Judge Henry J. Boroff, in which the Chapter 11 bankruptcy could be changed to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; this at the request of the HCPA
Court documents show HCPA with $3.3 million in assets and $5.4 million in liabilities; gross income has decreased from $39 million in 2013 to $25 million year-to-date for 2014.
The shuttering of the doctors’ offices in East Longmeadow and the subsequent bankruptcy could leave some 50,000 patients with no healthcare. Workers at the medical facilities would also see a cessation of their employee benefits.
The news account reports that Sisters of Providence Health System
and Mercy Medical Center
in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Noble Hospital
in Westfield, Massachusetts, have both expressed interest in taking over the medical operations.
The bankruptcy judge has denied a request from Connecticut Physicians’ Services
, the computer company that stores HCPA records, to transfer those records in batches to another medical facility, citing possible breeches of *HIPAA
laws, which allows for the transfer of medical records only to the patient or individual doctors upon request. The judge has also denied a request by Hampden County Physician Associates to sell its equipment since the equipment has not been appraised and no bids had been sought.
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*Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
– The Office for Civil Rights
enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule
, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information.