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Hospital secrecy must end

Publicly owned NRMC has been in the spotlight since 2007 when the hospital discovered financial shenanigans caused by its former management company cooked the books.

Eventually the hospital fired the company and later sued over the financial damage it inflicted on the venerable medical institution, damage that pushed the hospital into bankruptcy.

After emerging from bankruptcy, the hospital’s leadership managed to eek out a few profitable years before things headed south again — for reasons not fully clear due to the hospital’s secretive financial practices.

NRMC eventually settled its lawsuit out of court but has made every attempt to hide the cash received from the settlement — allegedly an amount of approximately $15 million.

Sources close to the hospital suggest much of the settlement money has been spent over the last few months on hospital operations, but only a select few know for sure, and they’re not talking.

If the majority of the funds have been spent, hospital leadership need to explain how they allowed this to happen while apparently not making substantial management changes necessary to keep the hospital a viable business.

Sources close to the hospital say an offer to sell the hospital has been made, but that the offer may not cover all of the hospital’s debts — a large portion of which are backed by a pledge of county tax dollars.

The secrecy must end.

The rightful owners of the hospital, county residents, cannot afford to lose their hospital and potentially millions of dollars to boot.

The public needs a full, detailed and public financial status of the hospital. Residents, need the truth now, not when a handful of select hospital board members decide to spoon-feed out bits of the truth.