Week of SEPTEMBER 15–21, 2018


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Saturday, September 15, 2018

WEBSITE: modernhealthcare.com
AUTHOR:  Chris DeRienzo
SUBJECT:  Apply Roosevelt’s wisdom to healthcare improvement

SUMMARY: Continuous improvement is more than just an approach to process transformation—it's a way of life, a culture that both permeates and ultimately defines both an organization and its people. Over the five years I've been at Mission Health, watching this culture saturate team after team has been one of the most incredible experiences in my career. Our approach isn't flashy and it rarely brings on sudden, big-bang results. Instead, Mission's approach to driving continuous improvement is best captured by paraphrasing the words of President Theodore Roosevelt: Real progress is won by people who take the next step, not those who theorize about the 200th. Believe it or not, Roosevelt has much to teach healthcare's leaders about succeeding in our continuous improvement work. Take just the 59th Congress (1905-07), by all accounts one of the most prolific, reform-based congressional sessions in American history. Despite the colossal influence of trusts like Standard Oil, Roosevelt managed to band together coalitions of progressive Republicans and Democrats to drive real progress on both railroad enforcement and campaign finance reform. 

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION: calhospital.org

 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

WEBSITE: citizen-times.com
REPORTER:  Dillon Davis
SUBJECT:  Tropical Storm Florence: Live updates Friday as the storm moves inland

SUMMARY:  Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville said Friday it will waive fees associated with its virtual care service, UNC Urgent Care 24/7, due to Hurricane Florence. Fees for the service will be waived Friday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday. The service typically costs about $49 per visit depending on a patients’ insurance, the not-for-profit community hospital said. For patients physically located in North Carolina, the service addresses non-emergency medical issues such as allergies, fever, pink eye and vomiting, among other conditions. Pardee said it activated its emergency operation plan Tuesday. Like Mission Health, it has been in communication with state, county and local officials this week and has staffing plans to address increased patient volumes.

 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

WEBSITE: citizen-times.com
SUBJECT:  Medicare Advantage by and for WNC. Only from Healthy State. (ad)

 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

WEBSITE: mountainx.com
REPORTER:  Virginia Daffron
SUBJECT:  Business news in brief from the issue of Sept. 12, 2018

SUMMARY: B-corp certification recognizes for-profit companies committed to using business as a force for good. A group of local certified B-corp companies formed in June to help other local businesses interested in achieving the designation. The B Local Asheville + WNC group offers monthly work sessions, each of which is hosted by someone whose company has already completed the certification process. Free and open to the public, the next session will take place 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Mountain BizWorks, 153 S. Lexington Ave., Asheville…Mission Health announced it was named one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America.

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

WEBSITE: janaburson.wordpress.com
SUBJECT:  The Rights of Patients with Opioid Use Disorder

SUMMARY: I’ve been notified of an alarming development that’s come to pass at Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC. Recently Mission Hospital decided that patients with opioid use disorder will be unable to have visitors while they are hospitalized, and they will also be unable to have any electronic devices with them. The hospital will provide “sitters” to stay in patients’ rooms at all times, for patients with opioid use disorder. It’s unclear to me if this policy also applies to all patients with substance use disorders. It’s also unclear if their policy applies to all patients with opioid use disorder, or just those in early recovery. These measures have been imposed to prevent hospitalized patients from using illicit drugs. The first edict – that patients with opioid use disorders can’t have visitors – isn’t absolute. Apparently potential visitor candidates must be pre-approved by the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital.  I don’t know what criteria this CMO uses, but it would seem this policy would have the effect of isolating a hospitalized patient. I’ve only been hospitalized once, with a broken leg, but without the presence and support of my fiancé, I would have been distraught and more frightened than I already was (and I’m a doctor!). And that’s just a broken leg, completely fixable. Imagine how much worse it would be for patients hospitalized with severe or life-threatening medical problems. Isolating patients at such a time is cruel, even if it may be legal.

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

WEBSITE: janaburson.wordpress.com
REPORTER: Jim Giaquinto
SUBJECT:  NASDAQ, S&P Up 1%+ This Week

SUMMARY: President Trump hasn't forgotten about the $200 billion in China tariffs that've been in limbo the past few weeks. On Friday, news reports said he was willing to proceed with his threat, and the impact may have kept the S&P from reaching an all-time high. In the end though, the major indices finished the week with solid gains….The portfolio doesn't have much exposure to the healthcare industry, but Tracey found a name that makes the grade for this service. HCA Healthcare (HCA) is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that operates 179 hospitals and 120 freestanding surgery centers in 20 U.S. states and London. Analysts liked its recent acquisition of Mission Health, which opens HCA to North Carolina. Shares are still cheap despite the stock jumping 49% year to date. Earnings are expected to improve 40% in 2018 and another 7.6% in 2019.

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
AUTHOR: Paul Vest
SUBJECT:  Mission Health deal is good for WNC’s health

SUMMARY: Congratulations to Mission Health’s leadership and the entire Mission Health team. The HCA sale is a testament not only to their commitment to quality and long-lasting healthcare, but also to the overall health and quality of life of the residents of our beautiful mountains. The YMCA of Western North Carolina looks forward to partnering with the Dogwood Health Trust to address the social determinants of health. Together we will continue to build on the great things the Y and Mission Health have accomplished over the past 20 years for the benefit of the entire region. Our organization wishes the Mission Health team the best of luck as they bring the rest of this important work home.

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

WEBSITE: paulkeckley.com
AUTHOR: Paul Keckley
SUBJECT:  Does a Hospital’s Ownership Matter?

SUMMARY: In Asheville, NC, the hot topic is the pending acquisition of not-for-profit Mission Health System by HCA Healthcare, the nation’s biggest investor-owned health system now celebrating its 50th anniversary. The $1.5 billion deal caught locals by surprise, sparking wide-ranging speculation about what it might mean for healthcare in Western North Carolina. I spend holidays and long weekends in Asheville. I enjoy its craft breweries, mountains, challenging golf and peacefulness. So, the announcement was particularly intriguing to me. After all, Mission is among the most profitable systems in the country (Truven Health) and the 6th largest in the state. It enjoys a near-monopoly in the market and had embarked on $500 million capital upgrades in three of its seven hospital facilities.

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

WEBSITE: mountainx.com
AUTHOR: David Floyd
SUBJECT:  Facing shortfall, county considers cuts to fringe benefits

SUMMARY: While Buncombe County could face an estimated $8.1 million property tax windfall from the sale of the nonprofit Mission Health to the for-profit HCA, Wood advised commissioners to approach this figure carefully — and with a grain of salt. Mission’s assets, Wood wrote, have not been appraised by the tax assessor’s office. “It will take a detailed appraisal of all the assets, including real and personal property, minus depreciation, to determine the actual estimated property tax proceeds,” he wrote. Wood said the county could use the money from the sale to balance the FY 2020 budget, which could face gaps caused by the decision to use nonrecurring funds, which Wood described as “one-time money,” to balance the FY 2019 budget.In the FY 2019 budget, the county used $675,000 in capital project savings to replace fleet vehicles, transferred $1.5 million from its health insurance fund to the county general fund and used about $1.5 million out of the A-B Tech capital projects fund to pay for college operating expenses.

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

WEBSITE: transylvaniatimes.com
SUBJECT:  Jenkins Receives Hospice Medical Director Certified Credential

SUMMARY: Morris Jenkins, M.D., at CarePartners Hospice Transylvania, recently earned the hospice medical director certified credential from the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board (HMDCB). Jenkins was recognized for his commitment to improving quality of life by displaying professional competency in the hospice industry. The requirement for this certification is at least two years of work in the hospice field, including board certification in another medical specialty (Jenkins is also certified in family medicine.), attendance at interdisciplinary team meetings and passing a standardized test. Professional certification affirms a knowledge and experience base for hospice physicians to display commitment to their career, dedication to patient and family care, and the sustainability of the hospice organization and industry. HMDC designation is granted for six years and is renewed through continued validation of knowledge and reassessment.

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

WEBSITE: healthcareinformatics.com
SUBJECT:  Flatiron Health to Power Community Oncology Startup

SUMMARY: Three oncology practices have joined forced to launch OneOncology, a startup designed to manage independent cancer-treatment clinics. Flatiron Health, with technology currently embedded in 275 oncology practices nationwide, will power the OneOncology technology and data platform. The founding practices of OneOncology are Tennessee Oncology, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, and West Cancer Center in Memphis. Together they have more than 225 oncology providers, more than 60 care locations, and treat nearly 158,000 cancer patients every year. OneOncology will leverage Flatiron's suite of services to provide access to key clinical and operational data and the latest research via its national cloud-based network. According to a story in the Nashville Post, OneOncology is being led by former CVS Health executive and Emdeon Chairman Tracy Bahl. Private-equity firm General Atlantic has agreed to invest $200 million in the company. The Post story said OneOncology would “look to consolidate independent cancer care practices around the country with the promise of financial, management and technological muscle, the latest research and treatment developments and integration with other parts of the care continuum.”

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Morganton News Herald
SUBJECT:  Make your best life now (ad)

 
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

WEBSITE: bizjournals.com
REPORTER: John Joyce
SUBJECT:  Two $1.5 million grants allow Wake Forest Baptist to join national stroke study

SUMMARY: Two five-year grants worth about $1.5 million each will allow Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to join national clinical trials in the areas of neuroscience and stroke prevention. The first grant places WFBMC among 24 other clinical sites in the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials, known as NeuroNEXT. The network originated in 2011, and works to create efficiency and foster advancement in treatments for neurological diseases…WFBMC will coordinate network-related activities with partners in the western North Carolina StrokeNet, including Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem and Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, along with Asheville-based Mission Health.

 
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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WEBSITE: mitchellnews.com
SUBJECT:  Scholarships Available for Nonprofit Pathways Leadership Forum

SUMMARY: WNC Nonprofit Pathways is having its annual Nonprofit Leadership Forum for nonprofit organizations on from 2-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, with a networking reception from 5-6 p.m., at the DoubleTree Inn Biltmore in Asheville.   During the Forum, internationally known fundraising trainer, speaker, and author Kim Klein will lead a workshop for nonprofits of all sizes and missions.  Klein is known for her ability to deliver information in a practical, down-to-earth and humorous way. Nonprofits are encouraged to bring a team to maximize learning. Come with your experience and your questions. Visit the WNC Nonprofit Pathways website calendar at www.nonprofitpathways.org/calendar for more information and to register. Registration scholarships are available for organizations in rural Western North Carolina counties. 

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WEBSITE: marketscreener.com
AUTHOR: Susan Larson, SEARCH Executive Team
SUBJECT:  HCA Hospital America: Voice your opinion about Mission sale

SUMMARY: There is much to like in the deal struck between Mission Health System and HCA Healthcare – at least in the broad outlines released so far. HCA has agreed not to close or sell acute care hospitals such as Blue Ridge Regional for at least five years. Emergency rooms would be maintained for at least 10 years. Given the precarious state of the nation's medical system and the pressures on rural hospitals, in particular, those protections are quite attractive…That "if," however, is huge. The people of Western North Carolina have too much at stake to accept the proposed sale from a few broad-brush promises. The basic text of the sales agreement has now been made public (though without many important appendices) so now people may read, digest and comment on it before the deal is finalized. SEARCH has posted it on its website, searchwnc.org. Making the sales agreement public was one of three conditions outlined in a resolution adopted by the membership of SEARCH (Sustaining Essential and Rural Community Healthcare). Unless all the conditions are met, SEARCH will urge North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein to reject the sale. SEARCH invites other groups and individuals throughout the region to do the same.

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WEBSITE: mitchellnews.com
SUBJECT:  Mission Health Recognized as Achievers ‘50 Most Engaged Workplaces’

SUMMARY: Mission Health announced in a press release its recognition as one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America. This annual award recognizes employers that display leadership and innovation in engaging their workplaces. “We’re thrilled to receive this award two years in a row,” said Taylor Foss, Mission Health senior vice president of organizational transformation. “This recognition highlights the deep level of commitment and engagement our team brings to their mission of improving the health of the people of Western North Carolina.” The winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of employee engagement academics, industry analysts, thought leaders, journalists and influencers. Applicants were evaluated based on the “Eight Elements of Employee Engagement,” which are communication, leadership, culture, rewards and recognition, professional and personal growth, accountability and performance, vision and values, and corporate social responsibility.

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WEBSITE: journalnow.com
SUBJECT:  Wake Forest Baptist gains two $1.5 million national grants

SUMMARY: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center said Tuesday it has been awarded two $1.5 million, five-year grants by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke…As a regional center, Wake Forest Baptist will coordinate the network-related activities of the Western N.C. StrokeNet that involve Forsyth Medical Center, Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte and Mission Health in Asheville.

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Franklin Press
AUTHOR: Bob Scott, Mayor of Franklin
SUBJECT:  Concerns persist with Mission buyout

SUMMARY: The proposed Mission/HCA sale could have the most significant impact, negative or positive, to affect Franklin and the region for decades. As Franklin’s mayor, I have a duty and obligation to see that our residents and visitors are not shortchanged in this $1.5 billion sale of Mission to HCA My hope, since 1971, when our community rallied behind Operation Heartbeat to buy the hospital from the Angel family, was to see our hospital become a regional medical facility. Now that does not look as if it will happen. But we can work to make sure we maintain what we have now and improve on it. Even that possibility is threatened if our non-profit hospital moves under the control of the huge, for-profit corporation – Hospital Corporation of America, with a net income of $2.89 billion in 2016. The hospitals HCA currently owns are largely in metropolitan areas, and HCA has shown little interest in rural health care. They would be acquiring four rural hospitals in the deal, raising their total to six rural hospitals out of the 183 that they own or manage. I am an old cynic, and when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. And that is exactly what many of us in WNC counties served by Mission are doing. We are looking at all angles and sources concerning this deal. If we do not speak up, the North Carolina attorney general will assume that we are OK with this sale as it stands.

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Franklin Press
AUTHOR: Susan Larson, SEARCH executive team
SUBJECT:  Voice your opinion about Mission sale

SUMMARY: There is much to like in the deal struck between Mission Health System and HCA Healthcare – at least in the broad outlines released so far. HCA has agreed not to close or sell acute care hospitals such as Blue Ridge Regional for at least five years. Emergency rooms would be maintained for at least 10 years. Given the precarious state of the nation's medical system and the pressures on rural hospitals, in particular, those protections are quite attractive…That "if," however, is huge. The people of Western North Carolina have too much at stake to accept the proposed sale from a few broad-brush promises. The basic text of the sales agreement has now been made public (though without many important appendices) so now people may read, digest and comment on it before the deal is finalized. SEARCH has posted it on its website, searchwnc.org. Making the sales agreement public was one of three conditions outlined in a resolution adopted by the membership of SEARCH (Sustaining Essential and Rural Community Healthcare). Unless all the conditions are met, SEARCH will urge North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein to reject the sale. SEARCH invites other groups and individuals throughout the region to do the same.

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Mountain Xpress
SUBJECT:  Mission Health named one of nation’s top hospitals

SUMMARY: Mission Hospital has been recognized as one of the top hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2018-2019 edition of Best Hospitals. Mission was one of only 29 hospitals, less than 1 percent of those evaluated, that got the top rating in all nine procedures and conditions. Mission Hospital was the only hospital in North Carolina or South Carolina to receive this recognition.