COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A public hearing allowing witness testimony and public input brought an update to the possible buyout of St. Francis Hospital after layoffs, lawsuits, and resignations.
This meeting, which was conducted by the attorney general's office, was a requirement under the Hospital Acquisition Act for the publicly owned and traded company Lifepoint to buy the hospital for approximately $270 million.
Lifepoint Chairman and CEO Bill Carpenter talked to the crowd about his company's values and how they plan on improving the capital and continuing with what the hospital is already doing for the community and patients.
Carpenter also explained they will not be eliminating any of the current services at St. Francis.
"The company is committed to hiring every employee who works here on the day of the closing, at the same rate of pay, with the same years of service," Carpenter said.
These employees will have to pass a background check and drug screening.
When asked about past job layoffs, Lifepoint officials say they cannot commit to doing anything about something they weren't involved in.
Doctors, employees, and the chamber of commerce talked to the crowd about their approval of this deal.
The proposed buyout includes: payment of indebtedness of St. Francis, keeping current employees, maintaining the emergency department and continuing to operate as an acute care facility for five years after closing, providing charitable and indigent care consistent with the seller's historical charity care police, and maintaining a hospital board of trustees comprised of community leaders and local physicians.
The public has until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30 to speak up for any modifications to this deal.
At that time the attorney general's office will write up a public report in about 30 days.
Lifepoint officials said if everything goes as planned, they plan on buying the hospital before the end of the year.