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Bankruptcy Trustee Named for Universal Health

A Fort Lauderdale CPA has been named bankruptcy trustee for St. Petersburg-based Universal Health Care Group Inc., the parent corporation of two health plans that were placed in liquidation by the state of Florida last month.


The Chapter 11 Trustee is Soneet R. Kapila, founding partner of Kapila & Company, CPAs, according to a spokeswoman for the company, Jeanne Becker.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May of the Middle District of Tampa signed the order approving Kapila's appointment on Monday.

On Tuesday, Kapila was at the company's headquarters in St. Petersburg meeting with Dr. Akshay "A.K." Desai, the company's founder and CEO, and other managers, according to Becker.  In an e-mail routed through Becker, Kapila said his team will collaborate with the state officials handling the subsidiaries "to see how we maximize the value for all constituencies."

Universal contracted with Medicare and Medicaid to provide managed-care services for more than 100,000 people through the subsidiaries, Universal Health Care Inc. and Universal Health Care Insurance Co.  Those are the companies now in receivership.

Officials at Medicare and Florida's Medicaid program have been helping stranded patients move to other carriers. Other companies have been running newspaper ads, hoping to attract the business.

The acting trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court had been Guy Gebhardt. According to a document filed with the court, he said he has consulted with the legal advisors for Universal, major creditor BankUnited, the hospital chain HCA, and those who hold shares in the company who were not involved in management.

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