Hospital sale déjà vu for community

Published 12:08am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Adams County Supervisors and members of the Natchez Regional Medical Center may have a sense of déjà vu after meeting Monday.

The two groups set out to do something they were incapable of doing back in 2008 — sell what may be the county’s single largest asset, Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Much has changed since 2008, at Natchez Regional, in the world economy and on the two boards leading the charge.

Nearly as much hasn’t changed, though. Some members of the NRMC board remain and legal counsel for the hospital remains the same.

And, after Monday’s decisions, the consultant group leading the charge on the potential sale — Healthcare Management Partners — is the same.

The last time this process went along, for months county residents were led to believe county-owned NRMC was a prize coveted by many potential suitors only to find out later, no deals were imminent.

It would be a bit like a mansion’s homeowner hearing friends say  “I’d love to live in a house like yours one day,” and then telling his family, “I have an offer on my house.”

Selling the hospital may very well be in the best interests of the community and its future health care, but supervisors and hospital trustees need to be as public, up front and above board as they can about this.

Not doing so may give taxpayers and voters a permanent case of déjà vu.