BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - In Hancock County, the board of supervisors held a public meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the future of Hancock Medical Center.
A consultant for the hospital, Scott Phillips, explained how the facility and the county have benefited from Ochsner's management.
Phillips referred to Hancock Medical as a facility that is very attractive to potential multi-hospital buyers, and that a sale would be beneficial to the organization.
"Great management. Team player. Not as chaotic. Brought lot of direction to hospital," Registered Nurse and education coordinator at Hancock Medical Center Mimi Smith said.
Smith said she and others who work at the hospital are impressed with what Ochsner has brought to their workplace.
"We're nervous about who would come in and take over," Smith noted.
At Monday's public meeting, Hancock Medical employees heard about what the future of their organization could look like. One topic discussed was how multi-hospital systems like Ochsner are stepping in to help standalone facilities like Hancock Medical.
"The only means long term is to become part of a multi-hospital system or fill their beds," said Phillips.
"I do orientation at the hospital. When we get new nurses, shocked that we have 10, 12 patients a day," said Smith.
Phillips said the trend nationally has been moving towards multi-hospital systems since before Obamacare, and it is increasingly headed that way. He cited shared billing, joint recruiting efforts, and development as selling points.
One person in the crowd worried about job security for employees if Hancock Medical were to be sold to Ochsner, but said the sale would provide greater job security for employees.
The board said the future of Hancock Medical Center will again be discussed at its meeting on Feb. 21.