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Universal Wants $5.9M From Vendors

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

The trustee representing bankrupt Universal Health Care Group, Inc., has filed 11 lawsuits in an attempt to recover $5.9 million from vendors, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. The St. Petersburg based holding company that provided health insurance and managed care through its subsidiaries has been struggling to untangle its finances since investigators raided the company's headquarters in 2013.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Halifax Health’s Board of Commissioners, John Johnson, resigned Friday after his attempt to fire hospital CEO Jeff Feasel failed, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Commissioners voted 4-3 to keep Feasel, who has led the hospital system since 2005. According to the News-Journal, Johnson had concerns about Feasel’s handling of a Medicare fraud lawsuit as well as other issues.

Finally, The Vines Hospital in Ocala is facing a variety of legal problems, including a wrongful death lawsuit and a former employee being prosecuted in criminal court for breaking a juvenile patient’s arm, the Ocala Star Banner reports.

The Ocala Police Department also reports receiving 772 calls for service to the hospital since 2011, 57 of which were for reports of criminal activity including battery, assault, burglaries, attempted homicide, and homicide. According to the Star Banner, the Vines Hospital has also been cited for 38 violations by the state Agency for Health Care Administration. 

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.