By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
The Horne Group will represent Choctaw County in creating, submitting and reviewing requests for proposals (RFP) for the lease or sell of the Choctaw County hospital, nursing home and clinics.
In the February 18 meeting, the Choctaw County Board of Supervisors approved professional service agreements with the Horne Group for the next two steps in finding a healthcare provider for the county hospital.
The supervisors previously approved to hire the same group to perform the required Miss. Code Section 41-15-13 hospital study.
Before approving the service agreements, Barry Plunkett, with the Horne Group explained the next steps.
Plunkett said his group could begin working on the hospital study and the RFP simultaneously. He said that if the supervisors can agree on what they want in healthcare for the county it would speed up the RFP step.
Plunkett said the Horne Group would sit down with the board and help them decide on what healthcare needs the county has or a “realistic wish list” and write the proposal.
After the proposal is written, it will be submitted to interested healthcare groups then allow them a reasonable time to visit the county’s facilities and write their proposals.
Plunkett said the third step is to review the submitted proposals.
All three steps, or professional service agreements, will not exceed $75,000 plus expenses and will take approximately 90 days, according to Plunkett.
After Plunkett left the meeting, the supervisors discussed this information.
Chris McIntire, board president, said he has researched “hospital marketers” and most want three percent of the approved deal not a fee like the Horne Group. Both would perform the same work.
“My recommendation is go with Horne,” said McIntire.
After more discussion, District 1 Supervisor Archie Collins made the motion to approve the professional service agreements with the Horne Group for the RFPs and review or due diligence steps. District 4 Supervisor David Carter seconded the motion.
District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers asked a few questions. He asked if the current lease with Pioneer Health Systems and the Medicaid overpayment would be disclosed in the RFP. He also asked about the county’s liability moving forward.
“I have absolutely no doubt that when the Horne Group sits down with this board all of those will be disclosed…” said Steve Wright, county board attorney.
The supervisors approved unanimously to hire the Horne Group for the next steps.
The supervisors also approved:
- To recognize certificates of attendance of training for Steve Montgomery, Chancery clerk, for judicial college training and the election commissioners for ECAM training.
- To pay Bancorp South a bond interest payment of $254,408 out of Fund 225. McIntire said the total payment is $294,375 but the county had $39,967 leftover after closing out the previous bond issues and after closing costs. This amount has used toward the interest payment.
- To pay an invoice for $5,729 from Crowder Engineering for work done on the Pisgah Road Project after the county receives the funds.
The next Choctaw County Board of Supervisor meeting will be February 28 at 9 a.m. in the boardroom at the Choctaw County Courthouse.