Health

Jul 15, 2014 7:16 PM by Akeam Ashford

Lafayette Hospital Cited For Failure to Pay Bills

The Community Rehabilitation Hospital of Lafayette is under fire after failing to pay its employees and its bills. Located on the Evangeline Thruway, the hospital is a specialty long-term care facility with 22-beds.

The hospital is privately owned and does not have any relations to any major hospital in Acadiana. KATC was alerted of the hospital's issues when an employee reached out to us after months of not being paid wages.

"They been beating us down like this for a long time and now it's time we speak up and come out with it," said Priscilla Mouton, a certified nursing assistant who works at the hospital.

For months, the workers claim they haven't been paid for work they've already done.

"We're not quitting our jobs because we need our jobs, but something has to be done because if it's not done, I'm not working until I get paid," said Mouton.

Adding to the hospital's financial problems, court documents show the hospital is being sued by its landlord for $1.6 million after it didn't pay rent for five years.

"We don't have the money to pay them," said David Aguillard, head administrator of the hospital. "The insurance company always tells us the money is coming, but it's hard to get it out of them."

Aguillard pointed the blame at insurance companies.

"The insurance companies pay for medicaid, but those insurance companies have decided to not pay us for our services," said Aguillard.

Aguillard goes a step further, throwing Governor Bobby Jindal into the mix. Aguillard blames the hospital's financial woes on Jindal's refusal to expand medicaid.

"At the end of the day, when you have a governor who's decided that 242,000 people in Louisiana don't deserve insurance because they don't make more than $16,000 or $17,000 a year, it's a crying shame because this is what happens," said Aguillard.

KATC's investigative team learned otherwise. Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) documents show the hospital has been paid. DHH said the hospital received about $750,000 in payments as of June 2014; with only 2.5 percent of claims denied.

"I think in the front office, everything is being covered up," said Mouton. "I don't know what's going on, but I'm tired of it."

We tried to follow up with Aguillard after uncovering the medicaid payment issue, but he couldn't be reached for comment.

Aguillard insists the hospital serves its patients well.

According to a 2011 DHH inspection, the hospital was cited for a 71% infection disease rate. Inspectors found the hospital wasn't properly isolating those patients with E-Coli and Staph infections away from the general population.

"These people are very sick. If we discharge them to their homes, they will die," said Aguillard. "We have patients all throughout the area that can't find a place to go, so they come here to Community Specialty Hospital, because at the end of the day, we will get them healed. Period."

DHH returned to the hospital two months after the 2011 inspections and all the issues were fixed, according to documents. They have not received any other complaints about the hospital.

To lodge a complaint against a facility, you can contact DHH's hospital complaint hotline at 225.342.0138.

 

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