Olathe Wellness Company Will Lay Off 99 Employees After Seeking Bankruptcy Protection | KCUR

Olathe Wellness Company Will Lay Off 99 Employees After Seeking Bankruptcy Protection

Nov 26, 2018

This story was updated at 5:02 pm to include comments from a representative of Hooper Holmes.

Hooper Holmes Inc., an Olathe, Kansas, provider of health and wellness services, is laying off 99 employees in that city. The publicly traded company earlier this year sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sold its assets to Quest Diagnostics.

Hooper Holmes, which does business as Provant Health, announced the layoffs in a notice filed with the Kansas Department of Commerce. Elaine Peterson, a spokeswoman for the company, said all of the company's positions in Olathe, a combination of logistical and administrative jobs, will be eliminated as of the end of the year. 

Peterson said that some employees may be able to apply for jobs at Quest Diagnostics "that may come up over the coming weeks."

News of the layoffs was first reported last week by the Kansas City Business Journal.

Quest Diagnostics, a Fortune 500 company based in New Jersey, provides diagnostic testing services and has a large presence in the Kansas City area, employing hundreds of workers. 

In acquiring Hooper Holmes’ assets last month, Quest Diagnostics submitted the winning bid, $27.25 million, in an auction process conducted under the aegis of the bankruptcy court.

Hooper Holmes and six related businesses filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August, listing $11.5 million in assets and $27.6 million in liabilities.

The company labored under debt it incurred in a series of acquisitions that didn’t pan out and years of negative cash flow.

Last year it merged with Provant Health Solutions of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, in hopes of improving its financial situation. The expected synergies, however, did not materialize.

Hooper Holmes traces its roots to 1899, when it was founded as The National Insurance Information Bureau and helped insurance companies avoid fraudulent claims by identifying potentially risky customers. The company went public in 1984 and came to be a major provider of on-site screening services, laboratory testing and health risk assessments. It also offered so-called wellness programs for corporate employees.

Before seeking bankruptcy protection, Hooper Holmes served 200 clients representing about 3,000 employers with more than 3 million workers, according to the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Its largest shareholders included WH_HH Holdings in Boston, an investment vehicle affiliated with a private equity firm; and John Pappajohn, a Des Moines, Iowa, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Several Kansas City area companies are among Hooper Holmes’ largest unsecured creditors. They include the law firm of Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, said to be owed $831,000; Clinical Reference Laboratory, $598,000; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, $287,000; Hallmark Cards, $133,000; Allied Global Services, $120,000; and College Crossing EFGH, $112,000.

Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.