Court documents show Hutcheson's unstable operations - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Court documents show Hutcheson's unstable operations

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UPDATE: Hutcheson's Atlanta-based bankruptcy trustee, Ron Glass, tells Channel 3 that nine management positions were eliminated, and all top management positions have taken a "substantial pay cut."

In contrast to the obmudsman's report, laid off employees were paid on October 20.


Channel 3 is learning more about what was going on behind closed doors at Hutcheson Medical Center before word of a shutdown surfaced.

The hospital will close its doors in less than a month. Court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court help shed light on the hospital's financial issues and official's concerns regarding patient care.

The most recent report filed by the hospital's court-appointed ombudsman, Susan Goodman, gives an inside look into the hospital's bare-boned and unstable operations.

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The report cites two abrupt layoffs since the end of August, resulting in the loss of 75 jobs and closures of the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU), operating and outpatient services, lung clinic and Chickamauga Family Practice.

Goodman's report points out the hospital's "inability to immediately pay" the workers it laid off, and notes the fact that no jobs at the senior leadership level were impacted.

Channel 3 spoke with several patients after the clinics abruptly closed. They reported having issues gaining access to their medical records.

"I can't get (the records). They're telling me they'll call me later," one patient said.

Others said they were sent to an office that was already closed.

"It's inconvenient for senior citizens to have to be run around like that," said patient James Minghini,

In August, Hutcheson's official Facebook page posted a message quoting the hospital's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Timothy Ashburn (who recently resigned) saying, "I have always had the supplies I've needed, in a timely manner."

But the court report tells a much different story. It says Ashburn stepped down due to concerns of "accelerated stress on staff and deficit of supplies."

Goodman contacted the state medical licensing board out of concerns for patient care.

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