Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Paris and Essent...6/16

Not that we can disassociate entirely from the rest of the E$$ent community (doesn't that phrase make you all warm and fuzzy), but I've probably spent more time than I should have on the other folks. However, it has gotten more corporate attention. It probably isn't going to be on Good Morning America (or 60 Minutes), but more people in the industry blogs are noticing our plight, and that could be what affects E$$ent's ability to grow: outside funding.

If the lenders had known that Crossroads was in such bad financial shape, there probably wouldn't have been an E$$ent at this point. That kind of begs the question: How profitable are they really, and how much is being siphoned from the profitable hospitals to keep the others looking good?

They have been cherry-picking, and scooping the really good deals. We weren't quite in that catagory, but they looked at us to do a couple things:

1. Doubling the number of beds. From just a numbers perspective, we had about the same number of licensed beds in our facilities as they had in the entire corporation.
2. Cash flow. There were enough blatant inefficiencies that needed fixing that they figured that most of the other problems could be fixed as easily. They were wrong.
But back to loans...you can't ask lenders to prop up losing hospitals, but you can ask for building funds, and point out that a hospital was doing poorly because of being 'under construction'. That would fit with buying a new PACs, while the portable x-ray machine in the ER looks like it's ready for the scrap yard...having two out of four x-ray machines down...or numerous hospital beds that can't be raised or lowered. And that would explain the need to transfer patients to floors that have working wall suction, rather than fixing the leaks...all while putting in flat-panel TVs.

Renting out floors at the North Campus kept that part of the facility from deteriorating from disuse, but it poorly disguises the fact that we formerly had two hospitals running at relatively high occupancy percentages--without the Dubois segment. Now we have empty beds even with that and having a South Campus floor down for 'renovation.'

The "Dallas drain" to Paris healthcare is significant, and damning. Next time you hear that your physician had surgery, or was hospitalized, ask them where they went...

Note: I used the South and North Campuses references purposefully. That's another thing they didn't 'get'....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fac_p, I don't think you have spent too much time on the other Essent screw ups. At least we know that their business model must go all the way to the top.

Essent shouldn't grow. Stopping this business growth is like stopping a flesh eating bacteria from spreading. You might not can stop the ones already infected, but at least you can prevent it from attacking some other community.

I'm still a firm believer that a union is the only vancomyacin that is going to help us here. Otherwise, the necrosed skin holding us loosely together now will E$$entially decay.