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Actions by board don’t make sense

We were left scratching our collective head Tuesday and asking ourselves, “Did that really just happen?”

The bewildering moment came after learning the Adams County Board of Supervisors re-hired an out-of-town hospital firm to provide financial advisement for the bankrupt Natchez Regional Medical Center.

County supervisors agreed to hire Healthcare Management Partners to serve as the hospital’s financial advisors during the bankruptcy.

The same company has now failed to sell the hospital during the last five years. The last time they attempted to sell the hospital, the public was misled into thinking a sale was imminent, when in fact no buyer ever stepped forward to bid.

In the latest round — HMP was hired in July 2013 — of attempted sales, the initial attempt also failed, until the NRMC board agreed to less restrictive bidding stipulations. Details of the only offer that came were never disclosed, but were allegedly far less than originally hoped, so much so that it wasn’t accepted.

We believe HMP was paid $100,000 per month for management services during the last sales attempt during 2008 and 2009. The county agreed last year to pay HMP up to $500,000 to facilitate a sale. We can only assume the company was paid up front — a figure we hope the bankruptcy court will claw back since the sales process failed.

Despite the company’s ineffective sales track record, on Tuesday the county — or at least supervisors Darryl Grennell, Calvin Butler and Angela Hutchins —voted to pay the firm at a rate of $460 per hour for financial services.

That’s a bargain, the company’s owner told supervisors, because the usual rate is $675.

Does anyone beyond the hospital’s board and three supervisors feel this is a sound decision? We certainly don’t.