Week of August 11–17, 2018

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

PUBLICATION:  The Biltmore Beacon
REPORTER:  Shelby Harrell
SUBJECT:  Healthy Leaders Come to Asheville for Healthy Eating in Practice Conference 

SUMMARY:  Healthy Eating in Practice is a hands-on conference for healthcare professionals and advocates, focused on changing the culture of healthcare to better support healthy eating behaviors, particularly in children and families, and prevent chronic diet-related diseases...Local health and nutrition leaders who will be presenting at the conference include Garth Davis, M.D., who is the new medical director of Mission Hospital Weight Management Center. Having spent 17 years in the field of surgical and medical weight management, Dr. Davis is a recognized expert in initial bariatric procedures as well as revisional bariatric surgery.“If we are going to teach that food is medicine, as health care providers, we should be great examples to our patients,” says Dr. Davis about his passion for the issue and the conference.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

PUBLICATION:  The Asheville Citizen-Times
REPORTER:  Mark Barrett
SUBJECT:  Would a for-profit Mission be efficient-or ruthless?

SUMMARY: The idea that Mission Health might realize economies of scale if sold to industry titan HCA Healthcare makes sense to retired physician Dr. David Mouw. But Mouw nonetheless worries a transition from Mission' status as an independent nonprofit to being part of a Fortune 500, for-profit company could result in too much emphasis on making money and not enough on making people well. "I think the whole society is run so ruthlessly by corporations ... that it just scares you," he said. The effects of hospitals switching from nonprofit to for-profit in general also worries academics and people in the health care industry. There is no consensus nationally on whether for-profit institutions worsen or improve care, but it is clear there are downsides when a hospital or health system starts answering to shareholders instead of community members. Mission Health officials say a sale to HCA would protect important services for at least five years and require that the company offer to sell any money-losing services to other buyers. By making the system more efficient, HCA will safeguard the ability of what is now Mission Heath to serve Western North Carolina into the future, they say.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

PUBLICATION:  The McDowell News
SUBJECT:  Mission Health to speak at Tuesday's Alderman meeting

SUMMARY:  Old Fort’s Board of Aldermen will meet Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Town Hall to discuss new business and hear presentations from local citizens. Carol Wolfenbarger with Mission Health McDowell will speak to the board before the public comment section. After public comments, Debra Millikan, David Blackwelder and Carol Price will talk about next year’s Gold Festival. At the June meeting, Blackwelder suggested Millikan should take over the operations of the festival. Price is the executive director of the McDowell County Tourism Authority. The board will then go over any old business and update the town on the revitalization grant before going into closed session. For more information about the meeting, call 668-4244


Monday, August 13, 2018

WEBSITE: northcarolinahealthnews.org
REPORTER:  Taylor Knopf
SUBJECT: N.C.'s First Child Crisis Centers Open in Charlotte and Asheville 

SUMMARY:  Gwen Bartley has spent countless hours in emergency departments and at behavioral health centers around the state desperately trying to get her son help during crisis situations. He was 4 when she adopted him from foster care and out of an abusive past. On top of the childhood trauma, her boy was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder and a developmental disability. “So we had the trifecta of ‘What could go wrong has gone wrong,’” said Bartley, who lives in Concord and founded Amazing Grace Advocacy to help children like her son. When she heard the first youth mental health crisis center in the state was opening in Charlotte, she said it “felt like an answer to prayers.”...Asheville’s Mission hospital averaged 153 child crisis visits per month in 2017, according to data collected by Pathways by Molina, which manages the new Asheville child crisis center.“The child crisis data that has been collected over the past couple years indicates that there’s more children that go into crisis than the system can support,” said Carson Ojamaa, Pathways’ interim state director.


Monday, August 13, 2018

WEBSITE: healthleadersmedia.com
REPORTER:  Gregory Freeman
SUBJECT: Billion-Dollar Deals Lead First-Quarter Healthcare M&A

SUMMARY:  Mergers and acquisitions are up in 2018 over the same period in 2017, with three deals involving systems that have more than $1 billion in revenue, according to an analysis by Kaufman Hall, a healthcare consulting and software provider. There were 30 partnership transactions in the first quarter of 2018, which is an 11% increase over 2017's first quarter. In addition to the three $1 billion-plus deals, there were four that included systems with revenue bases of $500 million to $1 billion partnering with even bigger organizations...HCA Healthcare is acquiring Mission Health, a seven-hospital system based in Asheville, N.C. The report notes that HCA's deal with not-for-profit Mission Health advances the for-profit corporation's acquisition strategy at a time when other for-profit healthcare organizations have been trimming their portfolios. Community Health Systems announced divestiture of six hospitals in the first quarter of 2018.


Monday, August 13, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Transylvania Times
REPORTER:  Matt McGregor
SUBJECT: Officials Ponder HCA Deal- Brevard NC

SUMMARY:  The potential impacts of the Hospital Corporation of America’s (HCA) possible purchase of Mission Health on rural communities were discussed in a recent Facebook Live forum. This is the second part of the question and answer forum, the first of which appeared in Thursday’s issue. Karen Vernon, commun-ications director at Mission Health, moderated the forum, and fielded questions based on the panelists’ recent visit to other HCA-owned hospital systems, such as TriStar Health, TriStar Ashland City Medical Center, TriStar Centennial Medical Center and TriStar Horizon Medical Center in Tennessee...“When I talked to the chief nurse executive, she said they had to be in that difficult position in terminating certain programs because there was such little volume that they needed to close,” Guyette said. “We did note that, at the TriStar Horizon hospital, they had a very robust OB GYN program, and they are growing in it.”In March of 2015, Transylvania County Regional Hospital closed its birthing center but continues to provide OB GYN care.“I think it’s important to say that this isn’t just us,” Veron said. “It’s something that’s happening really across the country.”


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

WEBSITE: health.usnews.com
REPORTER:  Ben Harder
SUBJECT: 29 Hospitals With Top Ratings

SUMMARY:  AS PART OF THE Best Hospitals rankings and ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals for their handling of two chronic conditions – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure – and seven surgical procedures: colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, heart bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, knee replacement and hip replacement. In each procedure and condition in which a hospital had treated enough patients to be evaluated, the hospital received a rating of high performing, average or below average. The ratings are designed to help patients and health care consumers make informed decisions about where to receive care for specific medical needs.More than 1,100 hospitals earned at least one top rating of "high performing." But only the 29 standouts listed below, less than 1 percent of the hospitals evaluated, got the top rating in all nine procedures and conditions. (The 18 hospitals in blue were also high performing in all nine procedures and conditions last year.)


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

WEBSITE: citizen-times.com
REPORTER:  Dillon Davis
SUBJECT: Park Ridge Health to become AdventHealth Hendersonville in 2019 

SUMMARY:  Park Ridge Health will change its name to AdventHealth Hendersonville in early 2019, a move the hospital group said Tuesday marks a shift in the strategy of its parent organization. The decision comes as its parent company, Adventist Health System, has begun rebranding as AdventHealth. Adventist, one of the country's largest faith-based health care systems, said the move is about being "one consumer-centric, connected and identifiable national system of care" for patients...Asheville's Mission Health is exploring the possibility of being acquired by the Nashville-based for-profit hospital chain HCA Healthcare Inc. It would mark a major changing of the guard for the not-for-profit system, joining HCA which operates 178 hospitals and 1,800 sites of care in 20 states and the United Kingdom.  The deal also will spawn Dogwood Health Trust, a successor foundation expected to address social determinants of health in the region.  Mission officials have said they hope to have a final sale agreement with HCA in mid-August.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

WEBSITE: mountainx.com
SUBJECT: Mission Health issues a call for WNC artists 

SUMMARY:  Mission Health, in partnership with EL Design Studios & Gallery VI, is recruiting all artists, galleries and art organizations for work that may be considered for purchase and display at the new Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine. Artists are invited to submit both 2D and 3D work, with an emphasis on nature and/or culture inspired art. Artwork can be readily available for purchase or an artist may be open to possible commissions. Purchases will be chosen by a Steering Committee, a panel of Mission leadership, who are charged with selecting pieces that reflect the unique art community and culture of the region. This call is open to all artists residing in the following western North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Yancey, Watauga...The new 12-story Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine in Asheville will create a significantly expanded state-of-the-art emergency department with 97 beds, consolidated operating, pre-operative and recovery space along with interventional cardiology and radiology space that allows for true multidisciplinary, team-based interventional care with the very latest technology. Importantly, the facility was designed to embrace patients and families throughout the care process including sleep-in-rooms- and a unique energy efficiency focus and design that will set a new standard for future innovation. The new tower is set to open in the fall of 2019.

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION: Wednesday, 8-15-18 The Asheville Citizen-Times


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Herald News
REPORTER:  John Murawski
SUBJECT: Here are NC's best hospitals. Only one makes the national Honor Roll. 

SUMMARY:  Duke University Hospital has again emerged as the top hospital in North Carolina for complex medical conditions, and one of only two in the Southeast in the national top 20, according to the latest national hospital ranking by U.S. News & World Report. The Triangle is the only region of the state with two top-rated hospitals. UNC Hospitals in Chapel ranked third in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report, after second-ranked Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.All three are flagship hospitals within prestigious medical schools and part of large networks with regional hospitals, medical practices and diagnostic labs. U.S. News said the other top hospitals in North Carolina for treating complex medical conditions are: Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, Mission Hospital in Asheville, Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro and FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.




Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WEBSITE: wlos.com
REPORTER:  Jay Siltzer
SUBJECT: When is it time for the nursing home?

SUMMARY:  Robert Lawton, 83, can still carry a tune, but his wife, Linda Ross, recognized when she could no longer carry the load of caring for her husband at home. "He had just fallen and couldn't get up, and it was the third time in less than 24 hours," Ross recalled. Lawton has been trying for the past 18 months to regain strength at the five-star-rated Eckerd Living Center in Highlands. Ross said placing her husband in Mission Health's only skilled nursing facility wasn't easy emotionally. "I can't tell you how many days I cried and I cried and I cried," Ross remembered. "There's a lot of guilt associated with having to make that transition," said Ava Emory, Eckerd Living administrator.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WEBSITE: dailypolitical.com
REPORTER:  Stacy Sanders
SUBJECT: HCA Healthcare (HCA) Earns Somewhat Favorable News Coverage, Study Finds

SUMMARY:  Press coverage about HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) has been trending somewhat positive recently, Accern Sentiment reports. The research group ranks the sentiment of news coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. HCA Healthcare earned a coverage optimism score of 0.17 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave headlines about the company an impact score of 46.5307164275482 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the next few days. Here are some of the headlines that may have impacted Accern Sentiment Analysis’s rankings:


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WEBSITE: averyjournal.com
REPORTER:  Carol Thomas
SUBJECT: Health District top nutritionist Bartleson Retires

SUMMARY:  Where there was a need, there was Jana Bartleson. That is what you hear when you ask folks who have worked with her how they view the almost 38-year career of this health professional, who just retired from her role as Public Health Dietitian for the Toe River Health District. “She always has been good at identifying needs,” said Lynda Kinnane, who worked with Bartleson for approximately 29 years before retiring herself as health director of the District...In her efforts to address childhood obesity, Bartleson served as dietitian in Yancey’s two middle schools, and through the Students Health Centers taught cooking and gardening — even helping students plant their own garden at East Yancey Middle School.An accredited Diabetes Self-Management Education Program she co-founded and helped get funding for Mitchell, Yancey and Avery counties, helping more than 600 people deal with the disease. The health district is hoping Mission Hospital will take over this program.

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION:  Wednesday 8-15-18 The Yancey Common Times


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WEBSITE: mountainx.com
SUBJECT: Mission Health announces nearly $1 million in community investment grants

SUMMARY:  Mission Health’s Community Investment Program is awarding more than $965,000 in funding to a diverse group of 24 Western North Carolina agencies in a joint effort to improve the health and well-being of our 18-county region. The 2019 focus areas for the grants are based on the top priority needs identified through the Community Health Assessment process, which takes place locally in each of the 18 counties in Mission Health’s service area of western North Carolina: Importantly, social determinants not only impact the first two categories, but many others. “Mission Health’s partnerships with community organizations are essential to our work in meeting the regional needs of our communities’ most vulnerable members,” said Sonya Greck, MSN, RN, Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health, Safety Net, Community Investment and Facilities. “Improving the health of our region is the mission of Mission Health. Addressing the complex needs of people in need in our region’s communities requires partnerships and collaboration. We are pleased to work with these organizations and see the regional impact this work will have in improving the quality of life for many in our communities.”


Thursday, August 16, 2018

WEBSITE: transylvaniatimes.com
AUTHOR:  Bill Thomas, Cedar Mountain resident
SUBJECT: What's The Real Reason To Sell Mission?

SUMMARY:  We have yet to have an article in this paper explaining the real reasons for the obvious desire of our hospital system to be acquired by HCA. The most recent article did suggest that access to financing for new facilities/projects would be more likely because HCA is so big. But the article mostly seems to be saying, “Well, HCA won’t be worse than Mission anyhow.” Since we are always told how wonderful the Mission Hospital system is, I feel certain the major reason for the acquisition is financial. Would HCA, because of its size, be able to negotiate higher payments for services with insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare? Would doctors and/or administrators/or nurses make more money? Why would HCA even want to take on Mission unless it anticipated profits? They will undoubtedly be taking on debt and will have to pay taxes that Mission does not. Why would anyone think patient service would be better? I have doubts that the new Dogwood Foundation is germane. Or is the real truth that the Mission System is, or soon will be, in perilous financial condition without HCA or some other intervention? I would hope that someone could come forward and explain. Maybe The Transylvania Times?
-Bill Thomas


Thursday, August 16, 2018

WEBSITE: mcdowellnews.com
REPORTER: Virginia Rhodes
SUBJECT: Aldermen vote to hire Gold Festival professional 

SUMMARY:  Monday night, the Old Fort Board of Aldermen voted to hire a professional event planner for the Gold Festival. At the June meeting, Deborah Millikan submitted her resume for consideration from the board at the request of Gold Festival organizer David Blackwelder. Millikan works as the marketing and public relations person for the Bechtler House Heritage/Mint Site as well as the N.C. Gold Trail that includes 33 counties...-President of McDowell Mission Health Carol Wolfenbarger presented to the Old Fort Board of Aldermen updates on the merger with HCA Healthcare.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

WEBSITE: healthcarefacilitiestoday.com
SUBJECT: Investor Purchases Net Leased Medical Office Buildings in Asheville, NC

SUMMARY:  JLL’s Capital Markets experts have completed the $35.2 million sale of three medical office buildings in Asheville, North Carolina on behalf of health system Mission Health and its affiliated physicians. The buyer, Chicago-based MBRE Healthcare, is one of the largest private owners of healthcare properties in the country.  Managing Director Mindy Berman led the team handling the sale involving Mission Health, a not-for-profit health system headquartered in Asheville, with high financial strength rated Aa3 as the market leader serving western North Carolina. “This was an excellent opportunity for an investor to acquire valuable outpatient facilities within medical campus settings and occupied by an investment grade tenant on long term net leases,” said Berman. “We continue to see institutional investors recognize medical office buildings as a viable core product for their portfolios.”


Thursday, August 16, 2018

WEBSITE: beckershospitalreview.com
SUBJECT: 66 critical access hospitals to know 

SUMMARY:  Becker's Healthcare is pleased to present the 2018 edition of the "66 critical access hospitals to know" list, highlighting 66 of the nation's certified critical access hospitals. Critical access hospitals have 25 or fewer inpatient beds, and the annual average length of stay is 96 hours or fewer for acute care. These hospitals also offer 24/7 emergency care and are located in remote areas. Many hospitals featured on this list have been recognized for clinical quality and excellence in care delivery. They have become pillars of their communities, providing access to healthcare for a broad population.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

WEBSITE: wlos.com
REPORTER: Lauren Brigman
SUBJECT: Local flight nurse honored for reaching career milestone

SUMMARY:   A local flight nurse reaches a career milestone in Buncombe County. Barbara Sawyer was recognized Thursday for achieving 3,000 flights with the Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA). That's more than any nurse in the history of the program. Barbara was on the original crew when the MAMA service launched at Mission Health in 1986. She says the job has its challenges, but she plans to remain on board for at least a couple more years. "Whether it's weather, whether it's the actual flying, the patients we transport. It can make a day or break your day. But I wouldn't have ever done anything different at all,” says Sawyer. John Grindstaff, the supervisor of Mission Health’s Air Medical Services says she has helped shape the program. “She's helped develop the flight nurse role for the entire industry. She's been an example, she's been a pioneer. To be a flight nurse for 32 years and to continually, day after day, put on a flight suit and get in a helicopter and go take care of patients across the entire life span,” he says.


Friday, August 17, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Franklin Press
SUBJECT: Ladies Night Out attendees give back

SUMMARY:  The women of Ladies Night Out have expressed interest in giving back to the community, so each month, those in attendance bring donation items for local charities and community programs. Ladies in attendance in July chose to give back by bringing donation items for CareNet and KIDS place. 


Friday, August 17, 2018

WEBSITE: citizen-times.com
REPORTER: Dillon Davis
SUBJECT: 102-room Extended Stay Hotel proposed near Mission Health campus on Biltmore Avenue

SUMMARY:   An Extended Stay Hotel soon could be on the way to Biltmore Avenue. Plans submitted to the city by Asheville-based Milan Hotel Group call for the construction of a seven-story, 102-room hotel with 104 new parking spaces on a site now housing a parking lot. The project is positioned between McCormick Field and Mission Hospital in Asheville...The company selected the site due to its proximity to Mission, he said. He said his group "felt there was a need" for a hotel close to the hospital campus, particularly as it nears completion of its 12-story Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine. Construction on the hotel is scheduled to begin in spring 2020, Patel said. It is expected to be open in 2021.


Friday, August 17, 2018

WEBSITE: mountainx.com
REPORTER: Virginia Daffron
SUBJECT: Embattled county, city officials struggle to talk business

SUMMARY:   Brownie Newman expected his first months leading Buncombe County government to include plenty of action on greenways and renewable energy. But the universe — not to mention federal investigators — had other plans...Kapoor identified the proposed sale of the nonprofit Mission Health to for-profit HCA Healthcare, increasing rates of violent crime, the city’s River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project and the need for coordination between city and county development standards as critical issues that Council needs to make time to address — but hasn’t...Referring to the Mission Health sale, Wisler said that transaction and other changes at the top of local institutions offer a chance to “start fresh to make this community as good as it can be.”