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State Asks Judge to Liquidate Universal

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

State regulators are in an emergency court hearing Wednesday morning in Tallahassee, asking a judge to liquidate Universal Health Care and turn it over to them by April 1. 

They say the financial turmoil at the St. Petersburg-based plan has led many health-care providers to stop treating Universal's patients because the company owes them money, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

A spokeswoman for Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation said the hearing began around 9 a.m. and is scheduled to end by noon. (This article will be updated.)

Universal, founded by Dr. A.K. Desai, has mostly Medicare patients, and most are in Florida.

On Monday, a federal bankruptcy judge in Tampa gave preliminary approval for the sale of Universal Health Care for $33.25 million in cash to Citrus Universal Healthcare Inc., a unit of New Jersey-based CarePoint Insurance. The sale would require state approval.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.