Brentwood’s Associated Healthcare files for bankruptcy

Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at 2:25am

A Brentwood hospital operator has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing expenses incurred in acquisitions among its primary debts.

Privately held Associated Healthcare Systems Inc. is a holding company that owns the stock of several subsidiaries, which in turn own and primarily operate four rural hospitals.

The company owns one hospital each in the West Tennessee towns of Erin and Waverly, as well as in Many, La., and Nashville, Ga. In the last year, according to company attorney G. Rhea Bucy of Nashville law firm Gullett, Sanford, Robinson, Martin, Associated Healthcare has sold three other hospitals — one each in Lexington, Ky.; Carroll County, Ky.; and Randolph County, Ark.

A significant amount of litigation has been filed against the company in the last year, all stemming from financial matters, Bucy said. The bankruptcy filing indicates that 12 of the company’s 20 largest debtors are owned funds — totaling nearly $6.2 million — due from legal proceedings.

“None of the suits were related to patient care,” Bucy said.

The company, at 214 Overlook Court in Brentwood, is led by president and CEO Ron Turner, who resides in Gainesville, Ga. The business will remain open unless the court orders otherwise, Bucy said. According to the bankruptcy filing, the company has between $1 million and $10 million in assets.

There are fewer than 10 local employees of Associated Healthcare. The hospitals themselves employ many more, but Bucy said operations at the hospitals should not change significantly as an immediate result of the bankruptcy.

Debtors include Norton Hospitals Inc. of Kentucky, which recently secured a court order against Associated Healthcare for enforcing a $1.2 million judgment. Nashville-based Norton attorney Andrew Pulliam said Associated Healthcare did not respond to the judgment order after it was transferred from Kentucky to Williamson County Circuit Court.

Associated Healthcare filled for bankruptcy Oct. 1 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Tennessee.

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