Central Texas Urology will remain open in Waco after severing ties with the bankrupt Little River Healthcare, which has abruptly closed facilities all over Central Texas and eliminated an estimated 300 jobs in Bell, Williamson and Milam Counties.
The clinic, located in Six West Medical Plaza at Sanger Avenue and State Highway 6, was still seeing patients Monday and will continue to do so, staffers said. They referred further questions to doctors, who were preparing a statement but had not released it as of early Monday evening.
A WARN statement from the Texas Workforce Commission listed Central Texas Urology among the medical providers affected by Little River Healthcare’s decision to shutter facilities following a bankruptcy filing in July.
Such notices advise of pending layoffs, and are made public in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act. The notice shows an effective layoff date of Nov. 30 for Central Texas Urology and for Waco Imaging, also located in Six West Medical Plaza. The notice says a total of 33 staffers at CTU and another six at the imaging office would face loss of employment.
CTU’s status has changed, but the imaging center could not be reached.
Central Texas Urology was formed in 1980 with two physicians. The CTU website, which features a Little River Healthcare logo at the top of the page, says the office features the services of six urologists “with 75 years’ experience” among them, two physician assistants, nurses and staffers.
A message appearing on the Little River Healthcare website says: “Due to unfortunate financial conditions, all Little River Healthcare facilities and operations were closed as of December 4, 2018.” It asks those who received services at Little River-affiliated facilities in Georgetown, Temple, Rockdale and Cameron to call 512-430-6492 to acquire medical records.
It urged those who had received treatment at Central Texas Urology in Waco to call CTU at 254-741-6113 to receive information about records.
“We apologize for this inconvenience and will miss providing healthcare to the community,” it concludes. “Thank you for your many years of support.”
According to several media reports appearing online, Rockdale-based Little River Healthcare filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 24. At that time, the company operated two hospitals, had nearly 600 employees and had working relationships with more than 60 physicians.
Court filings show the company was having difficulty meeting payroll, and had more than $1 million in outstanding wages at the time it sought relief.
A failure to secure additional financing reportedly prompted Little River Healthcare to change its bankruptcy status from Chapter 11, which calls for a reorganization of debts, to Chapter 7, which calls for liquidation of assets.
In response, the Providence Healthcare Network has tried to intervene.
“Little River physicians have provided high-quality care to Waco, Temple, Georgetown, and the surrounding communities for many years,” Danielle Hall, public relations manager for Providence’s parent, Ascension, said in an email response to questions. “After Little River Healthcare filed for bankruptcy in July, Providence has been working to provide a seamless transition for these physicians to continue providing care to their patients. Unfortunately, the Little River Healthcare facilities unexpectedly closed recently.”
Hall concludes in her message: “Providence welcomes a partnership with physicians formerly affiliated with Little River, as their continued commitment to residents of Central Texas aligns with the compassionate healthcare we provide to our local communities.”
Little River Healthcare has not responded to messages seeking comment.