Four consulting firms presented proposals before members of the Greenwood City Council and the Leflore County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday in the first step to determine the best options for ownership and operation of Greenwood Leflore Hospital.

The proposals were made in response to the joint boards’  hiring of the Jackson law firm Butler Snow to determine the value of the publicly owned hospital and the best course of action to save it. Butler Snow solicited proposals from 10 companies and whittled them down to four that addressed the boards Wednesday.

 The firms presented plans on how they would gather data and input from various groups, make comparisons to situations other Mississippi hospitals have experienced, and court potential partners or potential buyers.

The proposals are the first step as required by Mississippi statutes that spell out the process for changing the ownership or operations of a hospital.

The firms that presented in the morning session, Stroudwater Associates of Portland, Maine, with offices in Atlanta and Nashville, and BKD CPAs and Advisors, with offices around the country, including Jackson, led the boards through the processes they would take in analyzing the operations and finances of the hospital before determining which path would be best to pursue.

Sg2 LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Vizient Inc., and Horne CPAs and Business Advisors of Jackson presented in the afternoon. Vizient is in the process of wrapping up a consulting contract with Greenwood Leflore Hospital where it advised the administration on cost savings and efficiencies of operations.

After their assessments of the hospital and its future, the firms potentially could recommend options, ranging from maintaining the current independence of the hospital to various relationships with other, larger hospitals to outright sale of the hospital.

Andy Williams, from BKD’s Jackson office, said the current situation in Mississippi finds two large hospitals working with rural hospitals to form affiliations or purchase hospitals outright: Baptist Hospital in Memphis and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Last year, UMMC proposed an affiliation agreement with Greenwood Leflore Hospital, but the offer died for lack of action by the hospital board. That led to the resignation of Board Chairman Brian Waldrop and a raucous meeting of hundreds of citizens, many of whom were convinced that UMMC presented the best choice for the hospital’s future.

Should the joint boards decide to hire one of the four consulting firms, the process would take from 90 to 120 days before a recommendation is made. If the boards decide to affiliate with a larger hospital, new negotiations would begin and could take up to two years to complete, consultants told the boards.

Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or gmaliska@gwcommonwealth.com.

 

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