BJC Medical Center’s request for a financial bailout from the Jackson County Board of Commissioners was tabled Monday night. The BOC postponed taking action at its meeting and didn’t give a date as to when the matter might again be on the agenda.
At a BOC meeting three weeks ago, Rick Massey, a member of the BJC Medical Center Authority, asked the county to guarantee — and also repay — 75 percent of a $5.2 million loan, as well as guarantee 75 percent of a $1 million line of credit.
The request by BJC is to consolidate approximately $1.5 million in debt on hospital bonds with $2.5 million in short-term debt and $1.2 million of accounts payable. The requested amounts calls for an additional $3.7 million in support from both Jackson and Banks counties.
The authority made a similar request — for the other 25 percent of support — from the Banks County Board of Commissioners. The Banks BOC did not take action on the request. Financial obligations related to the medical center have always been split on a 75:25 percent ratio between Jackson and Banks counties.
Currently, Jackson County makes the $153,655 annual payment for hospital bonds. If the BOC grants the authority’s request, its payment would go to $382,395. The duration of the agreement is for 15 years.
For more details on this issue, see the May 20 edition of The Jackson Herald.
I spoke at the commission meeting. They give you a whole two minutes. What I did not get to say is this. The Doctor who made my mistake now has 4 malpractice postings on the State Medical Board website. They total over 1.2 million dollars. They all are pre-2006. The questions I want answered are this. 1) Was the administration of BJC aware of these claims? 2) What is their Quality Assurance process? 3) Is there a patient advocate at the hospital? 4)Who is watching the number of surgeries and the quality?
The surgeon who just left had put BJC in the black, that point was headlined in this paper. But I ask the question to what advantage? I think the loan needs to be tied to a review of the hospital, the management and their processes.