If the process for selling BJC Medical Center to Tennessee-based Restoration Healthcare goes as scheduled, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker will hold a public hearing on the subject Nov. 16.
That’s by no means a sure thing, but the process grinds slowly forward and could be completed by the end of the year.
“God willing and the creek don’t rise, maybe by the end of the year we can get things done,” observed Charles Blair, chairman of the BJC Medical Center Authority.
Blair updated the authority on the progress of the sale during the authority’s 14-minute monthly meeting Monday afternoon.
“We hope that we’re going to be in a position to file with the attorney general this week,” said Blair. “Everything should be about finished.”
The “file” is a 2,500-pages of exhibits and attachments that includes a “final” draft of the agreement between BJC and Restoration Healthcare.
Baker has already set the tentative date for the hearing, which will be held at East Jackson Comprehensive High School.
Assuming Baker approves the arrangement, the two sides will sign the final version of the agreement, after which Baker will have 30 days to approve or reject it, according to Blair.
“We’re getting down to what we hope will be the final 45 days or so,” he said.
Meanwhile, the facility and Restoration Healthcare continue to recruit a new general surgeon. According to administrator Jim Yarborough, two prospects have already visited and two more will visit soon, after which officials will create a “short list” of one or two candidates to be brought back.
The authority hired King Search to lead the process, and Yarborough indicated he thinks that was a good decision.
“Based on these first two candidates, we’re really getting our money’s worth from King Search,” he said. “He’s working very hard to find us the kind of candidates we’re looking for.”
Yarborough also pointed out that Steve Clapp, head of Restoration Healthcare, is participating in the screening and the agreement with the company provides that it will cover the cost of the recruitment.
A Red August
Higher-than-expected expenses and reduced revenue left the medical center in the red by about $50,000, Yarborough said. Among the unbudgeted expenses was $12,500 for appraisal services and $15,000 for legal services relating to the negotiations with Restoration Healthcare.
In other business, Edna Hix of the BJC Medical Center Authority, revealed that she will at
tend the East Central District conference Oct. 18-23 at which she will be installed as its director.
I will have to assume that the group that's proposing to buy BJC Hospital is aware of the issues it faces in trying to restore some type of credibility. That will be a monumental job within itself. With negligence and malpractice lawsuits, license revocations, fines levied, and probationary periods being the norm at BJC Hospital this group has their work cut out for them.