Natchez Regional hires new leadership

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 12, 2008

NATCHEZ — Come Monday morning the Natchez Regional Medical Center will be under new management.

On Friday the hospital’s board of trustees voted to hire Healthcare Management Partners, LLC, of Philadelphia, Penn., to run the hospital.

Scott Phillips will be the hospital’s new CEO.

Email newsletter signup

The hospital board’s attorney Walter Brown said the board originally met with Healthcare Management Partners in March for an interview.

“They had the experience,” Brown said.

Brown said the company is currently running a hospital in Panola County that they helped to restructure after the hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Brown said Natchez Regional will likely go through a transition period as Quorum Health Resources — the hospital’s current management group — leaves the hospital and Healthcare Management takes over.

Brown said the transition should likely take a week or less.

Months ago board members decided to cancel Quorum’s contract, but Brown said the board did not officially notify the hospital of their intent until March 19.

While it is unclear how Quorum will react to the notice to cancel their contract, Brown said it would be mutually beneficial for the board and Quorum to cancel the contract early.

“Hopefully we can reach a resolution short of litigation,” he said.

No Quorum representatives could be reached for comment.

Phillips said a transition period with Quorum will be helpful but will be most effective if it is brief.

“Somebody has to be the coach,” he said.

And exactly how long Healthcare Management coaches the hospital for is unknown since they have been hired on an interim basis.

Both Brown and Phillips said the company will likely manage the hospital for six to nine months.

Brown said Healthcare Management’s main objective will be to reorganize and restructure the hospital.

But Phillips said restructuring comes second to “righting the ship.”

On Friday, Phillips said it was too early to comment on exactly how the hospital would be righted or restructured.

Phillips likened the hospital to a patient in need of care.

“We need to triage this patient and start an aggressive course of therapy,” he said.