Management hurts NRMC’s recovery

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Adams County Supervisor Mike Lazarus deserves a little “thanks” today from the taxpayers of the county.

Lazarus seems to be the lone voice willing to stand up and question the management of the county-owned Natchez Regional Medical Center.

“I hope we are watching our money, and we need to be — in my mind — making cuts to keep the hospital viable,” he said Monday.

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Lazarus’ warning was meant to remind hospital officials that the ongoing process to sell the hospital isn’t a sure bet.

He’s correct, particularly in the feeling of ownership over the hospital.

It is “our” money at stake here, just as it’s the future of “our” health care in the area.

With each passing week, no new news about the hospital sales effort seems to emerge. It’s simply more of the same: Closed-door meetings between a few select hospital leaders.

Natchez Regional once was, and could be again, truly a bright, shining light in the medical community of the region.

The hospital, through poor management, allowed its position to slip over the years, winding up in bankruptcy a few years ago.

A lawsuit with the hospital’s former management gave the hospital a gift in the form of an undisclosed cash settlement.

Earlier this year, hospital board members said the hospital had to dip into the settlement proceeds to pay bills, including payroll.

If that’s the case, and we’re taking them at their word, Lazarus’ warning is spot-on and should be heeded quickly, but we could turn around in a few months and realize the “gift” was squandered on poor business management.