Monday, March 03, 2008

More Creativity!....4/27

Remember how Essent was going to build a new hospital in Ayer, MA? They said the current one was unable to be renovated and they would have to build new, instead? Ennnnnh, wrong again. The Lowell Sun had an article recently:

Hospital abandons new-facility plans, to renovate instead
By Jack Minch,
Article Last Updated: 02/29/2008 11:32:12 AM EST

AYER -- Nashoba Valley Medical Center announced yesterday it is abandoning plans to build a new hospital at a cost of $50 million to $60 million, and will instead renovate the existing facility.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Roach said he'll meet with town officials to determine if the change affects a tax-increment financing agreement approved at Town Meeting last May. However, the hospital still plans to add 30 new jobs to its staff as agreed to under the deal.

"The commitment to 30 jobs is still there," Roach said. "We have to grow the staff. You can't do it without staff."

The cost savings for renovations can be used to pay for new equipment, which benefits patient care and also works as a recruiting tool for new doctors, Roach said.

Officials say the decision to renovate reflects a trend in the medical industry that places emphasis on more outpatient care and shorter inpatient stays when hospitalization is required.

"Most of what we used to keep people in the hospital for three, four days or a week we do in a day now," said Dr. Kenneth Janes, a surgeon at the hospital for 30 years.

The hospital was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a 100-bed facility with little outpatient capacity, Roach said. Now, with clinical work, about 85 percent of the care is on an outpatient level.

The cost of the renovation hasn't been set, but it will be less than $50 million, Roach said.

The timeline for work won't be determined until the scope of renovations is decided. The work isn't expected to shut down the hospital.

The hospital originally planned to start construction in 2009 on a facility with 60 private rooms.

Instead, hospital doctors and staff members will work with a design-build team to determine what renovation work needs to be done, Roach said.

"We would get what we call a new hospital within a hospital," Roach said.

Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski and Planning and Development Director Christopher Ryan met Wednesday with Roach and Richard Salerno, the senior vice president of operations for Nashoba Valley's parent company, Essent Healthcare LLC of Nashville, Tenn. The meeting didn't delve deeply into details.

"From what I can gather, it would still represent substantial growth and investment at the facility," Suhoski said.

The current hospital has about 104,000 square feet, and renovation plans could include some new construction, Roach said.

The hospital is licensed for 57 beds but effectively uses about 35, Roach said.

There are about 116 doctors on staff, but only about 65 or 70 are active.

Note: This is after they mortgaged the hospital to GE Capital.

Now, take Paris. Should they build a new facility on the North Campus? What's going to happen to the old one? What about the property values around the South Campus? What about all the property that Essent owns around that facility? You wonder if Essent announced that 'exploration' to drop property values and get a tax-break on all the properties they hold.

You would have thought that the medical supply building directly across the street would have been a hot commodity, but it's still posted for sale. If the hospital wasn't active, how many doctors would stay in the old Brookshire's or the old Sears buildings?

One indicator would be how long it takes to lease Dr. Wilson's office when she leaves this summer. Directly across from the hospital, one would think prime location.


Anonymous said...

Essent Healthcare and Steve Roach have ZERO credibility at this point. On January 24, 2008 The Lowell Sun had the following headlines:
HOSPITAL by Hiroko Sato

NVMC was celebrating the completion of the medical office building with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. Steve Roach goes on record to say he hopes to see the new hospital constucted by late 2009 or early 2010. The hospital is gearing up to spend $50 million to $60 million to replace the existing 110,000 square foot hospital with a 175,000 square foot complex. The project follows an industry trend to offer private patient rooms with "hotel-like" amenities to help patients feel more comfortable.
36 Days Later Lowell Sun headlines:

What is Essent going to tell the public next Sale or Closure?
It appears Mr.Roach is tap dancing.

Anonymous said...

While Essent was in the process of buying Greene County Memorial Hospital, they also spoke of building a new hospital ... by the interstate in fact. However, like much of what Essent has stated, this has also turned out to be, at best, smoke and mirrors.

We don’t need more smoke and mirrors in Greene County healthcare. Instead, we need a hospital that we can trust and believe in again. In my opinion, we have not had that since the day Essent slithered into town.

A reasonable person may conclude that is why the healthcare facility of CHOICE for Greene County residents continues to be located in Washington, Allegheny or Monongalia County.

Anonymous said...

S-o-o-o-o, if we go by track record, what are we looking towards?

Wasn't Paris supposed to be the "showplace"? Wouldn't the new hospital go to the "showplace"? Or is it all show and no-go.

From the post, Essent was saying that everything was on track, but after they got the money, thumbs down. Did Hud come back as an advisor, or did he clone himself??

Anonymous said...

Considering the overall decline in Paris, if PRMC was supposed to be the flagship, Essent has a pretty crummy fleet. No new facilities, no new acquisitions, turnover in the head office, loss of respect in the various communities they allege to serve, decreased employee morale........more like a regatta full of leaky rowboats than a fleet of fine ships. Makes me glad I don't live in Lamar County anymore (and I never thought I'd ever say that).

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't that just hack you off--if you were GE Capital? You just loaned $115M (actually, $133M-f_p), on a facility was supposed to be replaced with a brand-spanking-new hospital--and end up with the one that Essent paid what--$10mil years ago? And is still losing money? Go figure. I noticed that none of the companies that had board members took that mortgage!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time for GE Capital to find out about the blog and what really goes on inside Essent facilities.

Anonymous said...

The Town of Ayer should hold a special town meeting and rescind everything they ever voted for based on Essent building a new hospital. Ayer residents have already seen a significant increase in their taxes because the new fire station was built with the vision of a new hospital on the horizon. What will Essent be selling to the Ayer residents next?

Anonymous said...

Counting on taxes that are not coming in, is not good fiscal sense. Towns make decisions all the time, and building the fire department was very important for Ayer. It's location is questionable, but is much needed. As for the hospital, is it better to have an updated facility or no facility? Just a question. An updated facility will generate more taxes, and even the current facility pays more taxes than when it was a not for profit. Time will tell, but we need to be a little patient and listen to what they have to say. Then if we aren't happy - then so be it.

Anonymous said...

Fiscal reality is this: We make assumptions based on projections of growth.

We adjust taxes, based on assurances of investment. If we are too conservative, we end up with facilities that are at or past capacity before they are completed. If we are too optimistic, then we have unused facilities that the tax base has to absorb. We might even have reduced monies because of the breaks given to encourage the growth.

If such breaks were given, a redaction or recovery of those funds is in order, since that was a contractual agreement, and the business did not meet their end.

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you about NVMC, its all for profit. The employees suffer due to the patients numbers being down. Patients have become $$$$. Because there is not enough patients coming through, the hospital has had employees leave using their vaca time or take it at no pay!

I would be almost thrilled to see the hospital taken over by some one else! In the meantime, start looking for a new job because instead of layoffs, the hopital would rather see people leave to go other places or simply just be flat broke.