DOBSON — While the Surry County Board of Commissioners took no action, executives with Northern Hospital of Surry County and Mountain Valley Hospice certainly gave them an ear-full about their opinions of one prospective buyer of the county’s home health services.
The action came during a public hearing conducted Monday night at the county administration building in Dobson.
In addressing the board, Bill James, the chief executive officer with Northern Hospital, said there were concerns about one offer, but he would “let a representative of Mountain Valley Hospice address the specifics.”
“Our concern isn’t the sale of the agency, but specific to the sale to United Home Care,” said Denise Watson, executive director of Mountain Valley Hospice.
Watson told the board that while United Home Care’s bid for the services was “significantly higher,” experience with the operation made it clear that they are in it for the money rather than out of concern for the welfare of county residents.
“They have a history of submitting bids due to their own financial interests, and not in the best interest of Surry County residents,” she said.
Noting that the company is “extremely aggressive in trying to expand their business,” Watson said, “there is reason to be concerned about the quality of services provided.”
She recommended the company with the second-highest bid, Gentiva, which has what she called a “positive reputation.”
“We have a good working relationship with their staff,” she said.
Following a request for proposals (RFP) issued to companies interested in taking over the county’s accounts, the county received six offers ranging from $2.5 million to $550,000.
The offers are as follows:
• United Home Care, Inc. — $2,500,000
• Gentiva — $2,350,000
• Care South Inc. — $1,200,000
• Well Care Inc. — $650,000
• Medical Services of America Inc. — $600,000
• LCH Inc — $550,000
The difference between the high and low offers totals $1.8 million, with an average price of $1,183,333, according to documents related to the sale.
Commissioners are expected to take the comments under advisement, and could make a decision as early as their Aug. 20 meeting.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.