By Vicki GravesOne has to wonder, why the local docs haven't joined forces with other local moneymen to regain control of PRMC from Essent.....or is the price too high?
BONHAM — Twelve local doctors and investors recently took on the venture to acquire Red River Regional Hospital and it will be locally owned and operated.
Their $3.2 million offer was accepted Thursday by Attentus Healthcare of Nashville, Tennessee, CEO Dave Conejo said Friday. Officials at Attentus Healthcare couldn’t be reached Friday for comment. Hospital officials now move toward “doing the due diligence” and getting the loan completed. Their goal is to have that done by year’s end.
The majority of involvement is from area physicians. Now, they just have to do the work that will consummate the transaction, Conejo said.
The closing process will involve getting the property inspected, having a title search done and making sure there are no problems.
All contributions are held in an escrow account at Bonham State Bank.
When the local investors take ownership, they said they will completely remodel the emergency room and all patient rooms.
“The way the hospital is set up, we decided not to try to squeeze two patients into one room,” Conejo said. “When this hospital was built 38 years ago, two patients were kind of tight in those rooms, so we decided to make them all private.”
Patient rooms also will be equipped with comfortable recliners for family members who want stay at the hospital with their loved ones.
The enterprise began when the idea came up just two months ago.
“We’ve got a lot of people that are really getting behind this,” Conejo said.
The group doesn’t have all the money yet but has pledges lined up for a large portion of it and is confident that by month’s end, the rest will be in. All contributions and investors are welcome, he added.
Now, my take: Interesting that I was being taunted by one of the Essent hanger-ons, and he had the following to say:
Like I said in my earlier note to you, since you are so good at hospital management, you should go raise some buckaroos and buy the hospital that Community Health ditched in Bonham. Why I betcha as smart as you are, you could jes' suck Paris Regional in no time flat. In fact, I bet you could bring Essent to its knees.He might actually be right. Clarksville has seen an increase in utilization, as had Bonham. With the troubles we've had here, it would appear that some shrewd investors saw an opportunity to not only take more control of their destiny, but to leverage an advantage out of Essent’s troubles. It isn't the big threats, it's the chipping away of the healthcare dominance that Paris once had. Essent has provided the opportunity, and now it's being taken advantage of. Hopefully they do more “due diligence” than Essent did.
The shame of it is, by the time Essent is forced to sell, there might not be anything that is worth buying.... I heard that the taunt came from a lawyer...maybe he should be advising his clients, as prophetic as he is, rather than me!