Chaudhuri’s ‘Medical Empire’ Continues to Crumble After Fall of KPC Medical Management
Dr. Kali Chaudhuri's KPC Medical Management filed for bankruptcy last month, and other parts of his crumbling "medical empire" have faced financial distress or disputes this year -- including charges of illegal fund transfers, unpaid bills and commingling of funds, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. Lawsuits accuse Chaudhuri of "secretly transferring" about $2 million among medical groups that he owns, failing to pay almost $3 million in hospital and physician bills and commingling funds of separate medical groups that he managed. In addition, two key partnerships that Chaudhuri negotiated with Valley Health System, Hemet's public hospital district, have suffered "financial setbacks." One has effectively gone "out of business," leaving the district with an unpaid debt of $1.5 million, while the other has failed to pay the district its share of profits for two years. While William Thomas, Chaudhuri's corporate attorney, reported that his Inland companies remain "stable and doing well" -- despite the "financial collapse" of KPC Medical and the closure of the company's 38 clinics -- he admitted that the firms have suffered "billing disputes" and other problems. "Some people are going to contend they are owed money when they're not. Or owed more money than they are. ... [A]lthough we'd certainly love to have all of our relationships in harmony, in general this is business as usual in this kind of business," Thomas said, adding, "[I]t's not unusual for groups to delay payments, or try to settle for less ... It doesn't portend anything adverse to ... any of the medical groups that Dr. Chaudhuri controls." However, according to Hal Hunter, director of the health care administration program at California State University-Long Beach, while health care businesses often "haggle over money," they usually do not take billing disputes to court. In addition, Chaudhuri faces problems with his other companies:
- Emergency room doctors at Corona Regional Medical Center have rescinded their contract with Chaudhuri's Community Medical Group of Corona, effective Dec. 29, arguing that the group has failed to pay more than $165,000 in medical bills.
- San Antonio Community Hospital and a collection of specialists have sued Inland Global Medical Group in Upland for failing to pay more than $2 million in medical bills, and they accuse Chaudhuri of transferring about $2 million from the group, some for "personal uses"
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