0

EDC agrees to letter of support for Phoebe

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission OKs a proposal from a firm that lines up business prospects.

ALBANY — The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission board voted unanimously Wednesday to write a letter in support of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's purchase of the former Hospital Corporation of America-owned Palmyra Medical Center, a purchase that is being challenged by the Federal Trade Commission.

EDC Chairman Jay Smith brought the proposal to the board at its Wednesday meeting, saying he had been approached by Phoebe officials seeking the letter of support.

"I believe time is of the essence on this; it needs to be done this week," Smith said.

Several board members spoke in favor of the request, although board member Anthony Parker, the president of Albany Technical College, offered a level of support that stopped short of Smith's recommendation.

"I believe some of us could write letters about our personal positive experiences at Phoebe, but I don't think we could write letters in support of the purchase," Parker said.

Board member Milan Patel suggested federal officials would be looking for data that indicate Phoebe does not have a health care monopoly in the region, a concern that led the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn by a 9-0 vote earlier court decisions OKing the purchase. Board members Jim Deal and Richard Crowdis refuted that approach.

"I don't think we should approach this as supporting (the purchase) from the legal side," Deal said. "That's what the lawyers are for. Our support should come from an economic development perspective."

Crowdis, the Dougherty County administrator, said the EDC should concern itself with economics.

"Our letter should not be technical or data-driven," he said. "We have a mission to support our large industries. Phoebe is one of the community's economic engines, and this body should always support its economic engines."

Board member Chris Hatcher also supported Phoebe's request.

"The Economic Development Commission board is about jobs, and (Phoebe) is one of the largest employers in our community," Hatcher said. "One of the largest health care companies in America (HCA) didn't want to be here, and we were lucky to have a buyer (of Palmyra's facilities) right here. This purchase saved about 500 jobs in this region; if it goes the other way we're talking about a significant loss of jobs and a boarded-up building."

Also at the meeting, the board voted to approve a $30,000 proposal by the Montreal-based Research on Investment business intelligence firm, which specializes in facilitating corporate investment site location. EDC President Ted Clem said three different proposals were presented to his staff, which recommended accepting the one by ROI.

"Their team specializes in whittling down (business prospects) to a handful of companies," Clem said. "Their international expertise is outstanding, and they're not going to give us a cookie-cutter list (of prospects). They'll compile a list that is specifically geared toward our strengths, and it will be ours exclusively."

Comments

Albanite 11 months, 1 week ago

They should all listen to Mr. Crowdis. He seems to be the only one with any sense of what the community requires of this commission.

0

Cartman 11 months, 1 week ago

Wow. What a surprise. The EDC supports Phoebe over the community.

If the EDC really examined it from an Economic standpoint, they would appreciate the stifling effect the extraordinarily high medical costs from Phoebe has on existing employers keeping afloat and potential employers coming to this area.

4

Jacob 11 months, 1 week ago

How very true. Ask the leadership at P & G about how our communiity compares to others in health care costs. Pretty soon, Phoebe will be the ONLY employer- welfare and Phoeb- the future of albany.

1

KaosinAlbany 11 months, 1 week ago

So the EDC has become a lobbying campaign paid by us taxpayers. I am disgusted!!!

2

Abytaxpayer 11 months, 1 week ago

Wow let the boot licking begin. Too bad the EDC can't see the Albany Business Community for the Big Hospital buildings. Hey EDC who is paying property tax here? Small business sure would love some help on our tax burdens so we could afford those non-completive rates at your big pals place.

0

sue 11 months, 1 week ago

If they were TRULY concerned with economic development they would NOT support Phoebe's monopoly. Phoebe keeps health care costs in this community high which impedes insurance coverage and limits jobs! What they actually saying is Phoebe is too big for them to piss off.

3

Sister_Ruby_Two 11 months, 1 week ago

Simply put.........this is a WHOREistic mistake.

1

FryarTuk 11 months, 1 week ago

That's right and Phoebe is the only whore in town. So what do you do?

0

Sister_Ruby_Two 11 months, 1 week ago

Ima unpaid commentator but at least I don't get paid to comment on company time like you do, FT!

0

FryarTuk 11 months, 1 week ago

Sis, you left me on that one. You're gonna have to 'splain a lil more.

0

FryarTuk 11 months, 1 week ago

"I don't think we should approach this as supporting (the purchase) from the legal side," Deal said.

No, no, of course not, with the United States Supreme Court slapping it down 9 to 0 how could you? And by the way, I wouldn't approach a letter of support representing business interests because that is something you know very little about.

The EDC is equivalent to the Ladies Marching Chowder Society and just as worthless.

Ted Clem should go back to Panama City, FL. Oh wait, they ran him out of there didn't they?

1

KaosinAlbany 11 months, 1 week ago

That is what I have heard about Clem too.

0

whattheheck 11 months, 1 week ago

If I were given a chance to turn a big profit on a sale and not have to put up with the likes of Phoebe's antics, I would sell in a heartbeat. Not selling would have been a guaranteed period of misery until Phoebe finally ran HCA out of business with its ruthless thug-like tactics.

0

iko 11 months, 1 week ago

Funny how EDC doesn't oppose Judy "Toilet" Bowles and her anti-business, anti-job agenda. Oh, wait, I bet they go to the same country club.

0

MRKIA 11 months, 1 week ago

ALL THE TALK ASIDE, WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE PHOEBE WILL STILL BE THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN. IF IT WAS TO BE STOPPED IT SHOULD HAVE OCCURRED BEFORE COMPLETION OF THE SALE AND HCA VACATING THE PLACE. IT WON'T BE UNDONE.

0

RedEric 11 months, 1 week ago

Health care costs were sky high compared to the rest of the country in the early 90's when Palmyra was going strong. HCA quit spending on maintenance well before the sale. All of us industrial types know what that means. The choice is, Phoebe runs it or board it up. This action by our tardy bone head government is just adding to the expense of consolidation. There is no upside.

0

FryarTuk 11 months, 1 week ago

Some of what you write I agree with except that health care costs in the early 90's are not really comparable to the present expenses or their escalation. FTC drug their feet on blocking the annexation of Palmyra HCA once the agreement had been entered.

0

Amazed2 11 months, 1 week ago

Phoebe is I believe the largest employer of the community in the region and Dougherty county so EDC is supporting the community dummmy.

0

Doc15 11 months, 1 week ago

Phoebe is a monopoly and should not be able to purchase Palmyra HCA. Ted Clem needs to leave Albany really soon.

0

Amazed2 11 months, 1 week ago

If stopped then fully expect 300 to 400 people will be cut loose from the hospitals and the property formally known as Palmyra Hospital will be closed, locked and mothballed till some point in the distant future. Palmyra's corporation group has no interest in coming back and continuing the operation. Basically, Phoebe wins either way so you might as well fight to keep the people on staff at the old PAlmyra bldg.

0

FryarTuk 11 months, 1 week ago

That's Phoebe Health System's take as well as their strategy. Maybe a negotiated settlement could be developed with a second hospital under the auspices of Hospital Authority which would then be forced to grow some testicles. Separate Systems from Hospital, sell the non-hospital facilities to for-profit entities, dislocate Wernick-Loudermilk & cohorts. Let them have the out of county rental units. I know, I know. Don't write it.

0

Amazed2 11 months, 1 week ago

For all you Dumb Dumbs that can't remember back about to the late 1970's here in this fine City we basically had little to no cancer treatment capabities here so you had to get family or friend or whoever to throw you in a car and drive to Atlanta for treatment. Bad enough being sick but you had to spend 7 hours driving and sit in a waiting room there at Emory to wait on treatment. If you needed heart procedures same thing. I'm not necessarily a big fan of the business side of hospitals, doctors and hospitals but at some point you have to look at the results and level of care. Phoebe has moved us forward by light years on treatments and speacilty surgeries. If you like and want socialized medicine move to Canada or some country in Europe and become a Citizen. Or just load you sick spouse, child, mother or friend in the backseat of your car and haul them to Atlanta.

0

pheephiphoephum 11 months ago

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation because the local news media has not covered this story. There are at least three options. (i) Divestiture. The purchase of Palmyra is invalidated. HCA will be required to return the $195 million to the Hospital Authority, and Phoebe will be required to pay Palmyra $35 million, termed a “rescission fee”. Palmyra’s antitrust lawsuit against Phoebe would be reinstated. HCA could either operate the hospital or sell Palmyra for its actual value, which is only a fraction of the $195 million purchase price. (ii) The FTC could allow the purchase of Palmyra, and order the Hospital Authority to sell Palmyra to a for-profit. There are several entities which would be interested in purchasing the hospital once the litigation is concluded, should Palmyra be restored to HCA or retained by the Hospital Authority, on the condition that it be sold to a genuine competitor. (iii) Phoebe Putney could pay a civil penalty. The funds would be utilized to finance the FTC’s efforts to combat monopolies.

0

Sign in to comment