Losing Money, Stalling

March 4, 2006

{Fort Oglethorpe hospital suffers third straight year of multimillion-dollar losses } – “The Fort Oglethorpe hospital’s loss in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 occurred despite implementing recommendations from the Cambio Health Solutions consulting firm after losses of $3.3 million in 2004 and $3.4 million in 2003. “We had significant losses for the year, but without Cambio being brought in, losses would have been greater,” said Charles Stewart, Hutcheson’s chief executive officer. “You can’t have a total turnaround in one year.””

I would like to point out, that while I was at HMC, it was profitable. Not to say I was the key, but the group I worked with was. We marketed the hell outta that place, only to have the CFO pull the funding….then they started to lose money and they started losing or (in my case) laying off staff. Less money to run ads, less money to get names in the community, less money to get experienced staff.

Let’s also look at another story about HMC:

{Hutcheson Medical Center Responds to Lawsuit } – “NewsChannel 9 asked the hospital for a copy of the past due notices it sent Walker County. They told us, under Georgia’s Open Records Act, they needed a written request. We’ve done that; now the hospital has three days to respond. “

Open Records Law. If you work with hospitals, public ones, you should know that no matter what you put out there, it’s available by public record. Stalling for three days, is mainly to have lawyers look over the files. Chances are, they’re the ones saying three days, the finance people probably have these files on their desks. Trust me, in my experience, the PR people know what everything says, it’s the lawyers or people who don’t trust PR, who demand they wait.

Asking things in writing and making the media wait three days isn’t proactive media, it’s reactive and makes it look like you have something to hide. For NewsChannel9 to be pushing the “Sunshine Law” angle, makes me think they know the outcome.