BCMH for Sale

Is the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital up for sale? According to a press release issued last Friday by John Peele of Stroudwater Capital the three counties of Bamberg, Allendale and Barnwell have solicited Requests for Proposals from potential health care partners to achieve the vision set forth in the “Community Objectives.” After receiving seven proposals, the Counties have narrowed down the potential partners to two companies and are engaged in confidential pre-contractual negotiations with those two entities.

“No decisions have been made at all at this point,” Peele said when asked last Thursday if the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital was being sold. “We’ve been working very hard going on for little over a year now.”

Peele said that the goal the “Tri-County Health System Initiative” is to improve health care delivery in the county, where he noted 71 percent of the people who live in the county go outside of the counties for health care.

“That’s unsustainable long-term for the counties. The people of the counties deserve better than that,” Peele said, adding “improving care and a sustainability system for the future are the goals.”

Peele described a Monday, November 8, meeting at the Barnwell County Library with the medical staff of all three hospitals that was leaked to The Advertizer Herald as “a good informative meeting, very lively, with a lot of information exchanged back and forth. “It was primarily an informational meeting with an exchange of ideas,” he noted.

As word of the possible sale of the hospital has leaked out the last few days, a number of county residents speaking on condition of anonymity are asking if hospital officials and county council members are considering the economic development impact of losing the hospital will be on Bamberg County and why are negotiations being done so “hush-hush.”

“Nobody knows about it, why is being sweep under the rug,” a number of county residents have asked.

In the press release the Community Objectives Statement noted that Stroudwater has conducted more than 70 individual and group listening sessions with physicians, businesspeople, educators, nurses, board members, administrators, and other residents who “may need healthcare services for themselves or their loved ones.”

The press release listed the following Community Objectives as criteria that will be used in the selection process: Local and Regional Strength, Access Regardless of Ability to pay, Clinical Excellence, Commitment to Physicians, Employees, the Community and to future Capital Investment in TCRHS, Community Care beyond TCRHS’s Facilities, Reporting Community Benefit, Governance and Local Control, Experience, Compliance and Financial Resources.

These “Community Objectives” have been the guiding principles that the counties have used to steer this healthcare improvement initiative,” the press release noted.

The press release went on to say that “if negotiations are successful, each County will then have public hearings on the issue and the residents of each County will be invited to comment on the proposed health care initiative. The process will be slow and deliberate, with opportunity for all concerned stakeholders to provide input.”