Tri-Lakes Medical Center

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2011

Non-sale answers hospital rumors

By Rupert Howell

Rumors of the sale of Tri-Lakes Medical Center are just that — rumors — according to Administrator Greg Cantrell and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Havens.

“Tri-Lakes Medical Center is not and has not been for sale,” Havens said. “We began as a local physician-owned hospital and will continue to be physician-owned and continue to believe that healthcare decisions should be made locally.”

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Both Cantrell and Havens did acknowledge that Alliance Health Care Partners, current owner of the hospital of which both are managing members, is in discussion with “strategic capital partners and new physician partners,” to help grow the facility.

Cantrell also said recent news of events, although completely unrelated to current ownership and management, concerning the hospital’s previous management, was not helping negotiations.

“Alliance Health Partners expects to re-syndicate shares this summer and add more physicians,” Cantrell said stating, “Alliance has been in discussions for months with new capital partners to further our growth plans for the hospital. The new capital partner(s) would own shares and guarantee future working capital needs.”

Cantrell, Havens and other hospital officers contacted by The Panolian cited confidentiality agreements with each stating they could not comment on rumors regarding a name or names of new capital partners until a definitive agreement is reached.

But Havens was quick to point out that local physician owners would remain owners in every scenario.

“The local physician-owners are only interested in strengthening our local primary care group of physicians and primary care providers,” Havens said adding, “We expect to recruit more physicians to Panola County which will be great for local choice in all services and we are excited about potential growth opportunities.”

Cantrell also noted that patient satisfaction and quality measures are at an all-time high adding that positive cash flow achieved by the company in 2010 was reflective of improved services.

He said that Tri-lakes had reinvested in excess of $4 million in capital expenditures and upgrades in technology and facilities.

Besides Cantrell and Havens, Alliance Health Care Partners also includes physician owners: Dr. Tom Crowson, Dr. Billy Haire, Dr. Lee Linder, Dr. Ramon Rosenkrans, and Dr. R.C. Purohit. The group took over the hospital following bankruptcy of the previous owner after it was purchased from Panola County and the City of Batesville.

“Since 2009, we have taken this hospital out of bankruptcy, stabilized our workforce and succeeded in getting this facility operating as a premiere community hospital,” Cantrell said.
Havens added, “We have strengthened the organization from within, and it shows with patient outcomes and satisfaction.”