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Hospital employees don't get paychecks, say they lack basic supplies

Employees at the Washington County Hospital, in Plymouth, said they've worked for two weeks but you can't tell based off their bank statements. (Morgan Newell, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Staff at an eastern North Carolina hospital are voicing concerns after their paychecks never came on Friday. Now they're saying they can't serve the community because they have no supplies.

What started as an anonymous tip lead to an investigation by NewsChannel 12's Morgan Newell. Research quickly uncovered a slew of problems appearing to date back months and even years.

Employees at the Washington County Hospital, in Plymouth, said they've worked for two weeks but you can't tell based off their bank statements. The hospital is the only one in the county but the halls usually bustling with activity are now empty.

Empower HMS, the company which owns the hospital, promised 50 employees that checks would be arriving Monday morning but that never happened, according to staff. As for the medical supplies, there's no word on if/when they will be restocked.

5 p.m. report


"A few days before Christmas, people found out their insurance was no longer being paid yet they were still taking money out of their account. Then prescription was no longer and they were still taking the money out of the account. After that they started looking into their 401ks. Money was taken out but not put into their 401ks," said a source who wishes to remain anonymous.

According to employees, staff knew something was wrong on Friday but there wasn't much they could do but wait. Staff aren't sure why they aren't getting paid, citing that Empower HMS has not offered an explanation.

"For the past four weeks, we have been on diversion because we don't have labs that we need to take care of people. So we're having to transfer everyone out," the source who wishes to remain anonymous said.

Employees said the hospital will continue to accept patients who come to the emergency room on their own. "Diversion" means patients who arrive by ambulance are being sent to one of three nearby hospitals.

"Someone could drive up to the back of our door with an acute heart attack, an aneurysm, a stroke, and we don't have what we need to even stabilize some of these patients."

NewsChannel 12 has reached out to the company for a response but has not heard anything at this time.

Washington County Hospital CEO Melanie Perry created a Facebook post on Jan. 29 referring to the hospital as "not a tragedy but another success story." Perry said the hospital was "facing difficulties at levels we have never seen before" but still they have persevered.

You can read more of the post here:


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