Nacogdoches Hospital District declares hospital operator default

Nacogdoches Hospital District declares hospital operator default
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 11:44 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - July of 2021 was a happier and more agreeable time for both the Nacogdoches Hospital District and Lion Star, the private company set to manage and operate the hospital.

Now, two years into their 10-year agreement, the hospital district board says Lion Star has breached the contract.

They accuse them of repeatedly failing to provide necessary financial and insurance documents for months. Hospital district President Lisa King says Lion Star hasn’t been cooperating.

“The problem is we need timely, accurate, audited information. That shouldn’t be a difficult thing to provide, but they have yet to provide those things to us.”

The board made its position official by issuing a formal letter this week.

The district board said that information includes a certificate of insurance, financial statements, tax returns, an audit opinion letter, and other transferred records.

We spoke with Lion Star CEO Sean Fowler by phone. He says, it’s a misunderstanding.

“We vehemently disagree with the hospital district that we are in default. We just think it’s a lack of communication; we are opening up the lines of communication. We’ve already submitted a letter back to them requesting clarification and we continue to look for consistent means so that we can move through these items.”

King says what happens next is up to Lion Star.

“It’s all going to depend on the documentation that we receive from them and their response. The ball is now in their court to respond to the board.”

Fowler says Lion Star is looking to cooperate.

“We absolutely are honoring their request and moving forward. We’re giving them the information that they want, but you know, I think the other thing that I would say is that we have done great things at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. We look forward to building a strong relationship with the hospital district so that we can continue to serve this community and expand healthcare.”

The Nacogdoches Hospital District is giving Lion Star the opportunity to present the requested information to the board at their next meeting on August 22. The district says if Lion Star fails to do so, they say they will have to exercise any and all available remedies.