Hospital funds could be suffering

Published 10:10 pm Thursday, February 19, 2009

A memo issued to Troy Regional Medical Center employees Thursday afternoon could indicate hospital finances are suffering.

Payroll that should have been issued electronically today, will be distributed through a paper check perhaps as late as noon, said Troy Regional Medical Center CEO Rusty Eldridge.

This move comes after the current physician owners of the hospital have requested more time to come up with the funds to buy the hospital outright, rather than handing the keys over to the city of Troy as part of the original agreement.

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Though Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the city is not looking to own the hospital, they did agree when the Doctors Group took over last year to finance the bonds under a city health care authority if the group chose to.

Last month, when the group was to decide, the doctors requested the city council defer that agreement until at least March 31.

After several meetings though, Eldridge said the doctors aren’t any closer to resolving the issue.

“They’ve met several times and have yet to reach a consensus,” Eldridge said.

“Legal aspects need to be reviewed.”

Lunsford said the city does not anticipate any change in ownership, but the council will ensure there is a hospital in Troy.

“We anticipate the hospital continuing under its current ownership, but if anything happens to be a problem, the city will always keep a hospital in Troy,” Lunsford said.

Eldridge said employees should not be concerned with their jobs or their paychecks through this.

“We want to keep the quality staff we have and hope this is resolved on Friday,” Eldridge said.

“Jobs are safe, and they will be paid Friday.”

Eldridge said the hospital staff is grateful the city has guaranteed continued service.