Natchez Regional nearing a long-term plan

Published 12:46 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NATCHEZ — After months of uncertainty about the future of Natchez Regional Medical Center attorney Walter Brown said the board is only weeks away from receiving plans for the short and long-term future of the hospital.

Brown, the hospital’s attorney, said within approximately two weeks the board should be presented with a comprehensive plan from newly appointed CEO Scott Phillips that will guide the hospital through bankruptcy and into long-term planning.

At Monday’s board meeting Phillips presented findings from his first two weeks of leadership at the hospital.

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While Phillips and Brown said they were unable to elaborate on exactly what those findings were, Phillips said the meeting was “very up beat and positive.”

Board member Dan Bland called the meeting a cause for optimism.

Bland said during the meeting the board also received a more accurate view of the hospital’s financial situation.

Bland said the hospital’s financial state was “not as bad as he thought.”

While the hospital is still planning to file for bankruptcy Bland said it will not likely happen for at least 30 days.

While the future plan for NRMC might not be fully realized for weeks, the board and leadership of the hospital were all “very optimistic,” after Monday’s meeting Bland said.

“We’re making a plan to move toward the future,” Phillips said.

In recent months the hospital board was given approval to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy from Gov. Haley Barbour after learning the hospital was in financial distress.

In response to the hospital’s problems the board also voted to terminate their contract with their management company Quorum Health Resources.