Monday, May 08, 2006

A new victim in the making....6/4

Okay folks, got an email. One takes what comes through here with a grain of salt, so let's leave off the hysterics and reply with candor and tact. I was going to reply (and will, but in a comment), but I figured you all needed a chance. Personally, I think that they should run, not walk to the nearest exit from that experience.

Read with interest the blogs on E$$ent. Our Board is considering leasing to E$$ent or another group. What advice would you give? What questions should be asked of the company? It seems like you have some disgruntled ex-employees blogging - or who knows maybe they are enlightened employees. Your board had glowing reports about ESSEnt....

How has patient care changed? How has staffing ratio nurse to patient changed? How have physicians received the change? What has been patient reaction - your board seems to have only glowing reports? How has the census been since the change over? Have you seen an increase in transfers out of your facility? How many people did Essent lay off when they came in? Have they kept their promises for expansions and infusion of capital?

How did they handle accrued benefit packages (accrued days off, accrued sick time, retirement benefits, etc) upon take over. Did all employees have to reapply for their jobs? What happened to CEO, CFO, CNO, other upper management and department heads? What did they consolidate - HR, IS, Accounting, etc???? Is there planned union activity?

Any info provided will be helpful. Our employees are scared, concerned about their future, and upset that our Board is considering such moves. No one wants us to see us lose local control. But it appears that the Board is moving rapidly in that direction.


fac_p said...

Please note: The board selected Essent despite a higher bid from Columbia. Columbia indicated that they would dissolve the board. The board membership went from non-paid to paid status.

There was a lot of "big fish in small pond" comments justifying the selection, but for employees it has been a nightmare. Most of what has appeared on the blog has not been sour grapes. And, a good portion of these are current employees, not ex-.

From the nurse standpoint, you can be laid off for three days if you mention that you are short-staffed.

We had a PTO system prior to Essent, now vacation/sick days. Nursing supervisors are always panicking about staffing shortfalls, and there are days that there will be one regular staff and the rest temps on almost any floor. Nurses instruct the patient's family on how to operate Ivac pumps, so they can stop the beeping.

They were floating ER staff to the floors and closing ER rooms at one point, but with refurb (mostly cosmetic) there is less need since one floor out of five is closed.

Bio-med has lost a lot of people, MIS folks have bailed out in droves. X-ray has lost 60% of the folks that were there two years ago, including their only interventional tech. Respiratory techs have evaporated.

The three hospitals within 40 miles have had to hire more people, and one is planning an expansion.

They reported in medical staff that they would do salary compressions: Raise entry-level pay, get rid of higher experience/higher paid staff--and they have. Evaluations have been delayed as much as 18 months, and some people only got five cent raises at the end of that.

Unionization has been touted, but a lot are worried about a next buyer, and what they would do. (The last hospital they bought had 50 nurses walk out the first day.)

The cardiac surgeries have dropped by 40%, and much of general surgeries are going to Dallas. People are scared to go here. That's the public perception.

I don't believe that there are any of the original administration left now, CEO, CFO went in the first month. The rest left at various times.

Oh, and by the way, if you are thought to post to the blog, you are terminated. Baylor keeps the blog pulled up, as does ETMC, Mother Francis, and now Presby because so many of the former employees are there.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is the crew from Weatherford...can you imagine going through this had we known what was happening elsewhere? Like Crossroads?

Start brushing up your resumes, especially if y'all are in a non-profit environment.

Anonymous said...

Be scared.... very, very scared!

If this is Weatherford, your only redeeming grace after an E$$ent acquisition would be that Ft. Worth is not too far away for medical care!

Baylor and Presby Dallas are filled with patients from Paris!

Anonymous said...

50K! Way to go.

They actually said in medical staff that they were going to do salary compressions and get rid of higher paid staff?

So did the doctors know that they were going to get rid of the high paid staff- prior to when they did it?

Because if the doctors knew about this prior to it happening, and didn't do anything to stop it---they are just as much to blame for this ugly mess as administration.

Anonymous said...

50,000 hits and counting! Congratulations! I hope someone’s getting the message.

And for those wondering about the validity of this blog site...

...sure there are disgruntled current and former employees of PRMC and E$$ent posting to this site... but the facts remain true!

Don't take our word for it though, talk to HR in any of the surrounding hospitals... ETMC Clarksville, Hopkins County, Titus County, Bonham, Hugo!!! as well as the major players in Dallas... they have been flooded with applications from Paris. Look at the job postings for PRMC:

Even the temp techs and nurses are asking their agencies to be transferred... they like the area, but can't stand the hospital! What does that tell you?

As for the board of PRMC, who is on the payroll of E$$ent... they have been in on this since the beginning, and will not bite the hand that feeds them! It's like the fox guarding the hen house!

Anonymous said...

"How has patient care changed? How has staffing ratio nurse to patient changed? How have physicians received the change?"

Well for one I went from 4-5 pts on days to up to 7-8pts....on surgical and cardiac floors. This answers the first two questions. The physicians just usually want to know where the nurses are when their pts need them. We finally were so burned out we BEGGED for travel nurses. Now that's what we're staffed with. Sometimes the only RN's on the floor are Travelers, with one or two staff LVNs.

Nurses are NOT happy. Mass exedus of nurses to Greenville, Sulphur Springs, and Dallas area. Essent put on a shiny show, got their foot in and things went to pot.

We that work there are afraid. God forbid that you're found to be posting on this blog. You'll be suspended without pay for mentioning that you're short staffed, but pts/families are asking out right. You dont have to tell them, they already know.

It was a sad dark day when E$$ent came to town.

Take the warning Weatherford. I sent this site to you so that our fellow nurses and their pts and peers wouldn't have to suffer as we have.

Signed ~ Current employee who loves her community, but not her administration.

Anonymous said...

Do absolutely anything you can to stop E$$ent from taking over. Pass out the web site, write a letter to the editor of the local paper mentioning this web site.
move to another community

fac_p said...

My reply to the person that emailed is this: Hopefully this has given you some information that you can use.

Be sure that you get the scoop on the competitors, however, since our dirty laundry is flying doesn't mean that theirs is this obvious. Google searches for the CEO's name, organization, and various versions turns up an amazing amount of information...everything from political contributions and speeches, to court records.

We were wondering why the increased cleaning was going on--the visits. It was like a JCAHO prep.


fac_p said...

Just noticed an error: The first comment said "Columbia", apparently it was HCA that was the high bidder. I'm still used to the "Columbia/HCA" designation.

Anonymous said...

Funny, that kind of CT Scanner is about the only kind that Wayne could operate. Nail on the head...'course that's the kind of money that E$$ent puts in X-ray.

Anonymous said...

You know the board being paid off is like politicians being paid off. That should be illegal.

One of the board members once said, "I won't do anything unless I'm paid for it."

They are making decisions apparently that reflects what Essent wants instead of our community--because that is who they are paid by.

Then if a board member has a family member in the hospital--everyone has to bend over to take care of that "important patient" and leave the rest to fend for themself. The board member is not really getting a picture of how things are playing--because they are getting the red carpet treatment.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You guys are missing the point about the board. They make no meaningful decisions, they don't even see the financial reports of the hospital, those are for the "investors" only. They sit in their chairs and rubber-stamp whatever Android tells them, pick up their checks and leave.

Anonymous said...

If I can't sell it,
Gonna keep sitt'n on it,
Never gonna give it away...

Board Anthem

Anonymous said...

Well Weatherford--let me tell you our outlook on the Essent Experience, and what you have to look forward to.

1. They took away all autonomy from day one. We must wear matching outfits. (We are just so damn cute). Reminds me of a womens prison.

2. If you are an institutionalized person, (as described in the Shawshank Redemption) you will just love Essent's rule. If questioning orders layed out by administration--Because I said so will be your response.

3. If you like playing games, and people playing games with your life,career and finances--Essent is the institution for you.
Trading Places--comes to mind on that one.

4. Ulcers from trying to make administration happy, give way to this realization that you can't.

I can't say its been an enjoyable experience. I think I could have met better people in the prison system. At least you would know from the start what you were dealing with.

These were acting like they were looking out for our best interest--the whole time they were sucking the life out of us, and it took at least a year to figure it out.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Idea of saving all the money they can so moving to the north campus in a few years would be the ideal situation. The building of a new front to the existing hospital was to be the best of all worlds, if we can just work together and conserve. Then,see how much money can bve spent on the south campus became the norm. Remodel of the floors, etc etc...
Why do we, did we bust our a.... to save, conserve for our administrators to make a mockery of us.
All good lies must come to an end.

Anonymous said...


Yep---Remember how they said "if you can just stick it out for a little while you will be well rewarded."

I stuck it out for a couple of years until I finally realized it must be an S&M type of reward.

Anonymous said...

Well, let's see if you value your profession, patients care, and the company that you work for and most importantly YOUR community, do yourselves a favor and DO NOT let Essent in!

Experienced professionals in healthcare, no matter what level or number of years of service are of no importance to them. In fact these same employees will be considered detrimental to their overall plan of MONEY.......for them not you, your family or the community. They are untrustworthy, greedy and court your local notables with the promise of money, their motto is "everyone has their price", line the right pockets and we can pillage and burn to our hearts content. The locals won't and don't have a clue until it's too late.

The domino effect that Essent causes makes a tsunami look enjoyable. And I truly believe their "dog and pony" shows are done only to make them more palatable for communities like yourselves (Weatherford) You will lose valuable healthcare professionals like an aortic bleed, you will be inundated with Agency personnel, the employees that are left, will be demoralized, treated like the Jews in Nazi Germany, and their civil rights will be quashed. We never talked about Unions here in Paris until these folks arrived, these boys are silver tongued and talk a good talk, but then you (Weatherford) will have to endure the results........and take it from someone who not only lives here in Paris but left Essent's afraid, be verrrrrry afraid!

We believed their lies, and we are now paying the cost. Hopefully, those that hold the power to decide in your community will take heed and MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS! You (Weatherford) are in my prayers for sure!

fac_p said...

I'm not going to update the date on the post for a couple days--it changes the link that I sent to a Weatherford reporter, so bear with it.

Workin4Change said...

If you really want to know how the citizens of Paris and the staff of PRMC feel about E$$ent, organize a survey to be sent directly back to the decision makers at Weatherford, perhaps also print it in the Paris Snooze.

As a CURRENT PRMC employee (for 10+ years)...I'd say the update your resumes and get really comfortable taking your family to surrounding hospitals for medical care.

Anonymous said...

WARNING...WARNING...WARNING!!! To the employees of this potentially Essent run facility. Get everything in writing. Leave nothing to chance. Essent promised the moon to the employees here and believe me, we got MOONED! Everything they promised disappeared like smoke in front of a fan when they took over. And that comment made about some employees getting a five percent increase on their one and I do mean no one that I have talked to has received more than two percent since Essent took over. Oh, and about that reward that Essent promised to the employees that stuck it are fired if you say anything negative about the hospital on or off duty, on or off campus, and if you post on this website. This is no joke folks when I say, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, when referring to Essent.

Anonymous said...

I just started working in Greenville...darn, it's nice to have a hospital that:
1. Cares what the patients say.
2. Cares what the employees think.
3. Greatfully accepts--no, solicits suggestions.
4. Is willing to put some money into the facility, as well as the staff. (They actually talk bonuses!)

Remember Press-Ganey? It's alive and well there. The director is concerned, and actively involved in improvement.

The atmosphere is entirely different, and it's a shame. When I came to work at St Jo's, it had much of the same, but it's lost its way.

They were doing applications training with the new 64-slice CT scanner there and offered free Cardiac CTA scans to med staff and staff--I got one. Turned out great, and I was suprised--I would have thought that E$$ent would have turned my heart to stone if anything could....

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention: I've run into at least a dozen folks that I knew from PRMC--and I constantly see more that seem familiar....

Anonymous said...

The death of truth and responsibility in the media is a horrible testament to what corruption and greed can do.

Pulled this quote from a blog about Weatherford, TX... You know E$$ents next victim.

Seems their community is not so dissimilar to ours. The hospitals a mess, the news paper chooses to publish selective versions of the truth... they also have the hospital board falling all over themselves about the virtues of E$$ent. Must be the paycheck.... by George I think we've finally figured out E$$ents strategy... But what happens when they run out of money?

Check out the Weatherford Democrat, and links to their blog.

Good luck to them!

fac_p said...

I posted the following at a Weatherford Democrat forum. Maybe their decision will be more informed than ours was:

Actually, your possible decision has raised an interesting discussion about E$$ent in our blog the-paris-site. This particular discussion was brought about by an email from a current employee, a nurse, as to the changes that occurred when Essent came to our community two and a half years ago. We let her know, in no uncertain terms, that the quality of healthcare was severely dimminished, that the satisfaction level among patients, staff, and medical staff was "looking up to see down."

We were in an unusual situation, mainly because the former administrator under Christus had convinced corporate hq to buy the competitive hospital in our community (his administration was so piss-poor that he couldn't have stood competent competition). Because of that, the Essent purchase included 47 separate pieces of property, many of them having marginal income producing value.

Essent's business model went off the tracks, and they've been trying to play catch-up for the last two years.

Your hospital might fit their model much better than ours--we had several offers to purchase. But note that most if not all of the hospitals were unionized. I believe that we and Crossroads (their first hospital) were the only non-union facilities, and Crossroads was sold after losing money 4 out of 5 years. (The blog archives would have that from Nov2005 or so.)

As an example of their employer/employee relations, if an employee responds affirmatively to a question about being short-staffed they can be suspended for three days. If they are discovered to be posting on the blog, they are suspended, possibly terminated.

Evaluations were as much as 18-24 months overdue, which meant that they hadn't had a raise in up to three years. At which time some got a nickle raise....

Yet, they were willing to pay locum radiologists, nurses, and possibly 2x the hourly of staff. It probably came from a different funding, so the departments still looked good...on paper....

Hopefully the decision you make will be liveable, but our board heavily influenced ours, and got themselves a raise and permanent status, apparently.

Anonymous said...

"at possibly 2x the hourly of staff."

Try exactly twice as much as I make....several travelers (some of which bought out their contracts - that should tell you something) were making $37/ paid housing, paid travel, paid benefits, 401K, not to mention the agency fee for providing the se nurses....all of this comes out of our pocket...the $37 is just the salary to the nurse.

But yet, the hospital won't use local agency such as Gentiva or Caring Hands because their staffs are made up of relocated PRMC staff. But least there the RN's make $35/hr, but don't get all those other juicy benefits...not to mention they actually are familiar with the hospital and really wouldnt require orientation...heck, most of them just quit in the past year!