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GLH announces UMMC has made an offer to take over hospital services; more closures, layoffs announced

Thursday, September 1, 2022, 5:52 pm News Flash Archive

This morning, Greenwood Leflore Hospital interim CEO Gary Marchand provided an update to the employees and medical staff describing some more cut-backs that are being made to stretch the hospital's little remaining money. Members of the media were also provided a copy of the memo.

Marchand also confirmed for the first time that the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) "has submitted a proposal for future operations." The bidding deadline was yesterday, August 31, and no additional details were provided.

But off the record, some are concerned that UMMC will not agree to many of the demands set forth by the city and county in the "Request for Proposals."

The RFP contains a number of requirements and restrictions to be agreed to by the bidders. Some of the possible deal-breakers are:

Bidders must certify that current levels of service will be maintained in charity care, general acute care beds, rehabilitation, surgery, and emergency room services.

Bidders must ensure that all Leflore County residents will have access to hospital services without regard to insurance status, and without discrimination otherwise.

Bidders must address whether or not they will assume the current liabilities of the hospital.

Bidders must state whether they will assume the hospital's existing debts including the hospital's unfunded pension liability, which at present stands at $13.1 million. In addition, the hospital owes CMS $8.2 million.

Bidders must indemnify the city, county, and all city and county officials, agents, and employees, for any claims of liability resulting from the operation of the leased hospital.

Bidders must guarantee continued employment for at least 12 months for all current hospital employees who are not under contract, at equivalent or better terms that they currently work under. Bidders must provide a comparison between the hospital's current benefit plan, vs. the bidders' benefit plan.

Bidders will be allowed to inspect current secret hospital contracts after signing a proprietary information agreement, and must specify in their bids which contracts they intend to continue, and which they intend to abrogate. Bidders must provide descriptions of their plans to expand services, recruit specialists, and make capital improvements at the leased hospital.

To read all of our detailed analysis of the hospital RFP, see here: Details emerge of proposed "Request for Proposals" to lease the Greenwood Leflore Hospital

Of considerable interest is that the RFP does not appear to include any delineation of who will be responsible to maintain and repair the physical facilities, UMMC or the city and county (who are and will continue to be the owners of the property). Can the bidder simply allow the property to deteriorate, and then cancel the lease agreement due to the property's loss of usability, or will the city and county be obligated to pay for repairs and maintenance?

GLH's financial woes have escalated in the past several months, with practically all the cash now gone. GLH is now spending down the Medicare repayment fund, which will cause revenue losses in the near future once that fund is exhausted.

In this morning's memo, Mr. Marchand also outlined a number of cut-backs in services due to lack of funds. He describes how the recent sewage backup resulted in a loss of revenue which the hospital had been counting on to continue to operate at present levels until a bidder could come in and take over operations. Therefore, the hospital has had to revise downward the services it can continue to afford to provide.

GLH does not have sufficient skilled nursing and staffing to re-open the ICU, or to continue operating the Labor and Delivery / Newborn Nursery services. There is too little patient traffic to justify continuing the Magnolia Medical Clinic or the Ryan White clinic, which were available to treat AIDS and HIV positive patients. The After Hours Clinic is also being shut down, with some of the staff transitioning to provide similar services at the Emergency Room.

According to the memo, GLH is "adjusting its services to eliminate all forms of premium pay." This includes halting the use of expensive contract nursing staff, as well as discontinuing inducement payments to retain regular nursing staff. This inevitably has resulted in a loss of nursing staff, among other things.

GLH estimates that an additional 40 full and part-time employees will be laid off.

In addition, GLH says it is negotiating with vendors for temporary lower pricing for supplies and services.

To read the entire memo, view here: GLH Revises Viability Plan

To review our reporting on GLH and its financial woes, please see here: Index of Greenwood Leflore Hospital news articles

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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