Answers much needed on NRMC finances

Published 12:06 am Sunday, March 2, 2014

Adams County Supervisors are taking a good bit of public heat for the current management fiasco at county-owned Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Some of the criticism is fair; some is misplaced.

It’s not the supervisors’ fault that the hospital’s mismanagement was burning through cash at an apparently alarming rate, all the while — at least initially — pretending that everything was just fine.

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Supervisors — like many residents — were led to believe everything was OK at the hospital, until suddenly it wasn’t.

The trouble didn’t come on as fast as hospital administrators and board members would like to suggest, either.

But supervisors are to blame for sitting back in recent weeks and allowing the hospital’s board — a board that the supervisors appoint — disrespect the elected offices supervisors hold.

Weeks ago, we are told, supervisors asked the hospital for updated financial records so they could understand exactly how dire the hospital’s financial operations have become.

To date, no such records appear to have been provided. Supervisors represent the public — the rightful owners of the hospital — but they’re not fulfilling their offices if they’re not standing up and demanding information from the hospital.

Information only trickles out of the hospital — including to the people who are much more important than the board of trustees — the employees who provide care and whose futures are clouded with uncertainty.

As sad as it is to say, perhaps the board of supervisors needs to step up their efforts a notch and take the hospital to court where a judge might force the release of financial information.

Beyond that, perhaps it’s time to call the state auditor’s office in and beg their help to get to the bottom of what happened, when it happened and who is to blame.