Troubled Hospice Home Care of Hot Springs Facing Suits by Partners

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 12:00 am  

Hospice Home Care of Hot Springs opened Arkansas’ first free-standing inpatient hospice center nearly a decade ago.  (Photo by Mauren Kennedy)

The Medicare allegations and settlement left HHC and its related company, Hospice Home Care of Pine Bluff, “in danger of becoming defunct,” Wellspring said in its lawsuit.

Camille Gamble, the manager of Wellspring, said in an April 17 affidavit that Wellspring’s job was to find a buyer for HHC’s businesses while providing bookkeeping and accounting services.

Wellspring entered into a one-year contract in March 2009 and was supposed to receive 10 percent of the HHC companies plus the option to buy another 5 percent for $300,000, Gamble said.

Wellspring helped turn the HHC companies “into profitable businesses, while Defendants completely reneged on their obligations … and offered no compensation to Plaintiff for its months of work and personal expenditure.”

Wellspring also found buyers for HHC, but Gamble said Troppoli derailed the sales negotiations by refusing to hand over requested financial documents so the potential buyer could do its due diligence.

Gamble said Wellspring would have made “substantial profits” if the sale had occurred.

Gamble, who makes about $250,000 annually managing Wellspring, said the company spent more than $385,000 turning the HHC companies around.

Gamble said the agreement they signed would allow her to apply the money she was owed to the price of buying 5 percent of the company.

Once the HHC companies were salvaged and profitable, Troppoli “decided they did not need me anymore, and I received an e-mail telling me to ‘take a hike,’” Gamble said in her affidavit.

She said she believes that Hospice Home Care currently has $3.8 million in debt, which would leave proceeds of $14.2 million before taxes and closing costs if it is sold for the $18 million offered, presumably by Central Control.

Gamble said she wants HHC to put 15 percent of the sale proceeds into escrow until the lawsuit is settled.

One of HHC’s attorneys, Jamie Huffman Jones of Little Rock, said in her court filings that HHC did nothing wrong and Wellspring’s case should be dismissed. HHC also said Wellspring should be limited to no more than 10 percent ownership because it never paid the $300,000 for the remaining 5 percent of the companies.

 

 

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