Ochsner to take over management at HMC
By Dwayne Bremer
Sep 3, 2013, 21:18
Oschner Medical Center will take over operations at Hancock Medical Center in Bay St. Louis.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to change management companies at the county-owned Hancock Medical Center.
The board voted 5-0 to approve Oschner Medical Center to take over operations at HMC.
The county has been contracted with Quorum Health Resources (QHR) for several years.
Officials said the transition from QHR to Oschner should be complete within a few weeks.
"This is the result of a lot of hard work by the Hancock County hospital board who worked diligently over the past month," Board of supervisors President Lisa Cowand said Tuesday. "The county is only changing management companies. The county will still own the hospital."
The change in management comes a month after Quorum officials told supervisors that the hospital was having serious financial troubles.
HMC Interim Director Craig Cudworth told supervisors last month that the hospital generated $33.8 million in gross revenue last year. HMC performed 2,248 outpatient surgeries and admitted 285 surgical patients, he said.
Despite the numbers, HMC was having difficulty in several areas including uncompensated care; decreases in state and federal Medicaid/Medicare funding; a depressed economy; the looming potential effects of the Affordable Care Act; and unfinished construction costs.
HMC still owes more than $3.15 million on its expansion project and has yet to receive about $1.5 million of the funding from FEMA, officials said.
HMC officials suggested the county approve a request to apply for a $6.1 million bond issue to help cover the shortfalls.
Hospital officials also suggested the county levy a new five mil tax to help pay off the bond.
Supervisors took no action on either request.
Hospital board of Trustees members said Tuesday that the particulars of the contract with Oschner are still being finalized and a joint press release from the hospital board and Oschner will be issued later in the week.
On a related note, Cowand said she has appointed Bay St. Louis Dr. Rowe Crowder to serve as her representative on the hospital board of trustees.
The board of trustees is made up of appointees from each supervisor.