Grimes: transition is seamless

Published 10:01 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2010

City of Troy officials have said from the start the transition of hospital ownership would be seamless, and they just may have accomplished that task.

Five days into Troy’s ownership of Troy Regional Medical Center, CEO Teresa Grimes said the hospital has hardly missed a beat.

“You would not tell a difference,” Grimes said.

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Grimes said from employees to hospital physician to patients, the hospital business has at least seemingly been running right along.

“The employees of course are grateful to the prior investors, grateful to the city council and the health care authority,” Grimes said. “They’re excited about this transition, which they’re sensitive to the prior ownership.”

Grimes said while the ownership of TRMC has been officially transferred to the city of Troy, there are still financial transitions Troy Doctors Hospital, LLC. is continuing to make.

“We’re closing one chapter of books with prepaid assets, and we’ve started new ones with new computers, new accounts, new everything,” Grimes said.

As of now, working through how to finish those things doctor owners have left, such as outstanding debt to vendors, is still undecided.

Grimes also said that group will have auditors come in to finish out the group’s ownership, though she isn’t sure when that will take place.

Troy Doctors Hospital remains an entity now, and Grimes said she is unsure what the future holds for that group of owners.

In the present, though, she said former physician owners are included in those that have been supportive of the transition.

“They’ve been great. They’ve been stopping by my office wanting to know how they can help,” Grimes said.

“Physicians have worked hard to make this transition as seamless as possible.”

Grimes, who stepped in as the interim CEO near the end of 2009, said she isn’t sure exactly how close the hospital is to a complete turnaround.

But, that turnaround has been the physician owner’s goal since the purchase of TRMC in January 2008 from a group that nearly left the hospital doors closed in the city.

What she does know, is there have been significant efforts made toward that goal.

“This group of people for the last two years have done great things,” she said.

“The one element they lack is the financial portion for capital.”

And, the city of Troy hopes to have that completed soon.

“With the Health Care Authority, we’re going to be able to complete the turnaround and allow us to bring more services to the area,” she said.

“I think that’s the most exciting part for everyone involved — for investors, physicians and employees.”

Grimes said all hospital staff have remained the same, and she doesn’t foresee any changes under the new ownership.

“There is an excited camaraderie but also a sense of ownership responsibility,” Grimes said.

“We understand we’re spending tax dollars.”