Hospital sues ex-director, others

Published 12:49 am Saturday, November 9, 2013

On Nov. 1, the Pearl River County Hospital filed a lawsuit against 12 defendants that claimed the defendants defrauded the hospital and Medicare and allegedly fraudulently misrepresented the “scope of their work” to the hospital board of trustees.

The complaint was filed against Mike Boleware, former hospital administrator; Wade Walters, Hope Thomley, Performance Accounts Receivable, LLC; Performance Capital Leasing LLC; Wellness Inc.; Kingsbridge Holdings, LLC; Kingsbridge Healthcare Finance; Stepping Stones Healthcare, LLC; ProjX, LLC; PierCon, Inc.; and John Does 1-10. However, John Does 1-10 are not listed in the parties to the suit.

Pearl River County Hospital claims the defendants’ actions defrauded the hospital and Medicare, civilly conspired to take over operations of the hospital for the defendants’ benefit, fraudulently made misrepresentations to the board of trustees, breached contracts, acted without contract or complying with state bid laws, conversion (defined by Webster’s New International Dictionary as “an appropriation of and dealing with the property of another as if it were one’s own without right” in legal matters), negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and declaratory actions.

The lawsuit states that “as a result of the Defendants’ manipulation of the Board, the Hospital’s name was signed to numerous contracts, most of which were not spread upon the minutes of the Board, and were not approved by the Board and/or attached to the Board’s minutes.”

Hudson Holliday, former Pearl River County supervisor, said Boleware was hired as hospital administrator in June of 2010 as the hospital was receiving critical access designation, which allowed the hospital to receive 101 percent reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid.

According to state statute, the hospital’s board of trustees operate the facility with “such powers and responsibilities as authorized by Miss. Code…”. The trustees in turn are appointed by the county board of supervisors.

Holliday said the hospital’s board of trustees was originally comprised of seven board members appointed by the Pearl River County Supervisors representing Districts 1, 2 and 3. Also, tax revenue to support the hospital came only from residents in Districts 1, 2 and 3.

He said after the Board of Supervisors discovered the Board of Trustees’ members had close relatives employed at the hospital, the Board of Supervisors by a March, 2012 resolution restructured the Board of Trustees. The Board of Supervisors asked the seven Board of Trustees members to resign and appointed five new Board of Trustees members.

Holliday said each Board of Trustees member was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to represent all five county districts. Tax revenue to support the hospital also started coming from residents in all five supervisors’ districts.

At an August 2010 Board of Supervisors meeting, it was reported in the Aug. 12. 2010 issue of The Poplarville Democrat that Poplarville physician Dr. Wayne E. Grayson, who said that he represented a number of doctors and nurse practitioners who practiced at the Pearl River County Hospital, said they had no input in hospital board decisions that were deciding the future of the facility. When the complaint was made, Boleware was hospital administrator.

At the meeting, the Supervisors voted to direct the hospital board to allow representatives from among those Grayson said he represented to have input into the process at board meetings, and directed board attorney Joe Montgomery to see if it was possible to amend the board by-laws to allow medical staff representation on the board.