April 2014

Apr 08, 2014 at 09:14 am by Staff

CMS Grants Portion of TennCare Waiver Request

On April 1, after working with state and federal officials, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted a portion of TennCare’s waiver request that provides Tennessee an additional $80 million for the Essential Access Hospital payments in the absence of Tennessee Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) program funding for this current fiscal year. 

Tennessee is the only state in the nation that does not have permanent access to the Medicaid DSH program. In January, the entire Tennessee delegation wrote to Marilyn Tavenner, CMS administrator, expressing strong support for TennCare’s waiver request, which expired on Sept. 30, 2013. When TennCare was created through a waiver in 1994, the state agreed to eliminate the Medicaid DSH payment, believing the majority of the uninsured and uninsurable would be covered through TennCare. However, costs began to escalate quickly, and by 2005, the coverage experiment ended. 

Tennessee hospitals provided more than $700 million in unreimbursed TennCare costs last year. In addition, Tennessee hospitals provided $970 million in charity care and lost an additional $730 million on services provided to Medicare enrollees. The net result was more than $2.4 billion in unreimbursed care.

“While this partial waiver is only a temporary fix, I remain committed to working with Senator Alexander to find a permanent solution as soon as possible so Tennessee patients, doctors and hospitals are not faced with this uncertainty each year,” Corker said.

Tennessee Charitable Care Network Launches

Charitable healthcare clinics in Tennessee have united to form Tennessee Charitable Care Network (TCCN). The mission of TCCN is to provide support, education, and representation for nonprofit organizations that provide charitable healthcare services to low-income, uninsured and underserved Tennesseans. Efforts will be focused on providing funding, education, training, and technical assistance for the member organizations.  

Laura Hobson of Faith Family Medical Center has been named TCCN board chair of the organized network of more than 50 charitable clinics across the state.

Creekside Reopens after $2 Million Renovation

Creekside Health and Rehabilitation Center, now a Grace Healthcare-managed facility, recently celebrated a grand reopening after completing $2 million in renovations. Located in the Madison area, the light-filled facility provides skilled nursing care, rehabilitation and respite care and features 59 private rooms and 84 semi-private rooms, a remodeled dining area and 24-hour menu, onsite beauty shop, garden areas and new furniture, among other amenities.

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About!

Awards, Honors, Recognitions

Acadia Healthcare Chairman and CEO Joey Jacobs was revealed as Nashville Post’s CEO of the year last month. In three years, he has helped guide the behavioral health company to new heights and a valuation of more than $2 billion.

HCA Chief Nursing Officer Jane Englebright, PhD, RN, has been appointed to The Joint Commission Board of Commissioners as the at-large nursing representative. Englebright also serves as patient safety officer and vice president for the Clinical Services Group at HCA. As the company’s CNO, she represents 80,000 nurses working in 165 HCA-affiliated hospitals and 115 ambulatory surgery centers across the United States and in London.

For the 14th time, Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been recognized by Truven Health Analytics as one of the nation’s “100 Top Hospitals” based on performance across 10 areas ranging from inpatient complications, patient safety and patient satisfaction to readmission rates, adherence to clinical standards and mortality.

Vanderbilt University Medical School also received accolades during the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings of “Best Medical Schools.” Vanderbilt ranked #15 for research and #29 for primary care and internal medicine. Additionally, Vanderbilt ranked 17th in the publication’s doctor-named “America’s Top Residency Programs” for internal medicine.

Juanita Turnipseed, a certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA) for Anesthesia Medical Group (AMG), a PhyMed Healthcare Group Company and provider of innovative anesthesiology services, has been named to the Tennessee Board of Nursing, representing the 5th Congressional District.

Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC was ranked 44th among the top 100 accounting, tax and consulting firms in the United States by Accounting Today. The firm moved up three slots from last year in the rankings, which are based on the annual revenue size.

Hospital Corporation of America, a leading healthcare provider with 164 hospitals and 115 ambulatory surgery centers in 20 states and London, England, has been named one of the Ethisphere Institute’s 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Amy Hobdy, Christopher Thompson, MD, and volunteer Gloria Mayfield were honored with TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center’s 2013 Frist Humanitarian Award last month. The Frist Humanitarian Awards recognize an employee, physician and volunteer at each HCA-affiliated facility who demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their community.

Cindy Harper, CPA, a tax partner with LBMC was recently honored in the Community Supporter category of the Nashville Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” annual honor. Harper is the leader of LBMC’s Wealth Management Segment.

Wishes Granted

Vanderbilt University has been awarded a Cooperative Agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Army Research Office (ARO) that is worth up to $16.5 million over five years. As part of the Rapid Threat Assessment program, Vanderbilt University will seek to develop mass spectrometry methods for quickly determining how potentially toxic agents, including drugs, affect human cells.

Centerstone has received a $200,000 grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation to expand the organization’s crisis services by providing essential outreach to individuals at risk for suicide. The funding will help support Centerstone’s Crisis Services High-Risk Follow-Up Project, which improves access to critical treatments, resources and support for those contemplating taking their own lives.

The March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter has awarded five grants across the state to address unmet maternal and child health needs. In Nashville, Lipscomb University School of Nursing received funding for their Teen Champions Program.

Recent Certifications, Accreditations & Commendations

Tennessee Maternal Fetal Medicine, PLC recently was awarded ultrasound practice accreditation in the areas of Fetal Echocardiography and Obstetric Ultrasound by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, making TMFM the only maternal fetal medicine practice with this accreditation in Middle Tennessee. 

International well-being improvement company Healthways is among the first in the nation to receive National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) accreditation under a new program for complex case management. In addition, NCQA has reviewed and certified Healthways' Utilization Management functions.

Life Care Center of Hickory Woods in Antioch was recently named a Rehab Center of Excellence by parent company Life Care Centers of America for its orthopedic rehabilitation specialty program. Each Life Care center undergoes an annual 111-point audit.

MissionPoint Opens Aegis Clinic

MissionPoint Health Partners recently announced a partnership with Aegis Sciences Corporation to provide Aegis employees and their dependents with convenient access to care through an onsite MissionPoint Connect healthcare clinic. The clinic at Aegis’s Metro Center location is available to provide care to more than 450 Nashville-based Aegis employees and their dependents, with plans to extend services to additional employers in the future.

“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with Aegis Sciences Corporation,” said Allison Foulds, MissionPoint’s vice president of Client Services, adding the hope is this will be the beginning of many partnerships with local employers.

TriStar Centennial Announces New Execs

TriStar Centennial Medical Center recently announced Cyndi Stroburg, RN, has been appointed chief nursing officer. Previously CNO at TriStar StoneCrest, Stroburg completed her nursing education at the University of Missouri and earned her master’s in Nursing from Walden University.

Additionally, Andrea Gwyn has been named associate chief operating officer. Part of HCA's COO development program, Gwyn previously served as a performance improvement manager at HCA corporate and oversaw surgical, diagnostic and ancillary support department workgroups. She received a degree in Business Administration at the University of Richmond and a master's degree in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

United Community Bank Names Seeley SVP, Healthcare Relationship Manager

Last month, United Community Bank announced the addition of Dwight Seeley as senior vice president, healthcare relationship manager in Nashville. Seeley has more than 20 years of finance experience and has held various senior financial roles in the healthcare industry for 19 years. He spent the past eight years as director of cash management at Community Health Systems. Seeley received his accounting degree from Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C.

Novak Joins LBMC Tax Services Team

Jonathan Novak, CPA has joined Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC (LBMC) as a tax accountant in the tax services division where he will be working in a variety of industries including healthcare, restaurants, professional service organizations and manufacturing.

He comes to LBMC from Kraft CPA’s where he served as a staff accountant in Litigation Support and Forensic Accounting. Novak earned his undergrad degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and his master’s from MTSU.

Chollet Joins TriStar StoneCrest

Casey Chollet, MD, recently joined the medical staff at TriStar StoneCrest. The board-certified radiation oncologist will provide full-time radiation oncology care for patients on campus through Sarah Cannon, the hospital’s cancer center.

She earned her medical degree from University of Tennessee, College of Medicine in Memphis, and completed her residency in radiation oncology at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. She most recently served as the medical director for radiation oncology at Maria Parham Medical Center in Henderson, N.C., and as an assistant professor in radiation oncology with Duke University Medical Center.

Parallon Expands Senior Sales Leadership

Franklin-based Parallon, a provider of healthcare business process and operational services, has named two senior vice presidents within its Workforce Solutions business unit to support its expanding footprint and service offerings that help address healthcare organizations’ labor and productivity challenges.

Matt Nelson has been appointed SVP of sales and brings more than 20 years of sales experience within a wide range of industries, including healthcare, information and technology, and revenue cycle management. Most recently, he served as SVP of sales and marketing for the Parallon Technology Solutions business unit.

Stephen Wright has been named to the newly created position of SVP of field operations and delivery, responsible for the oversight of the organization’s 28 field offices. Wright has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, having served most of his career in evolving leadership roles, including vice president of corporate strategy and development, as well as vice president of operations, at Maxim Healthcare Services.

BCBST Program Aims to Improve Medication Management

A new medication therapy management (MTM) program from BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee hopes to help members with multiple health conditions effectively manage medications. OutcomesMTM, offered through BCBST’s Medicare Advantage plans, links members with local pharmacists who provide a comprehensive, one-on-one program to ensure safe and effective use of medication in accordance with standards set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The program is targeted to high-risk members − those with three or more chronic health conditions requiring multiple medications. Key to the program is an annual comprehensive medication review to detect and resolve any issues with the patient’s prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Riggins Named Bridge2Life Director

DCI Donor Services, Inc. (DCIDS) recently announced the promotion of Reva Riggins to director of Bridge2Life for DCIDS. Bridge2Life is a call center facilitating the recovery of organ and tissue donations. In her new role, Riggins will provide leadership in developing key strategies to ensure customer service and satisfaction in the call center environment, which supports the entire company. Previously, Riggins worked with Tennessee Donor Services (TDS), also a part of the DCI Donor Services family of organizations, where she served in the role of hospital services coordinator in Memphis.

LifePoint Opens New Hospital Support Center

Mayor Karl Dean and Governor Bill Haslam joined LifePoint Hospitals® Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III to celebrate the grand opening of LifePoint’s new Hospital Support Center located at Davidson County’s Seven Springs Office Park in Brentwood.

The seven-story, 203,000-square-foot facility brings together LifePoint’s more than 470 Hospital Support Center employees, who were previously located in three separate areas. The new building will allow the company to further expand its operations and enhance its support of its growing network of community hospitals throughout the nation.

Evans Named DC2 President & CEO

Former NFL football player and healthcare leader Troy Evans has been named DC2 Healthcare’s CEO and president, according to Christina Cook, MS, PhD, DC2’s board chair. After receiving a degree in finance with a focus in entrepreneurship from the University of Cincinnati Business College, Evans spent 10 years in the NFL, which included an appearance in the Super Bowl XLIV Championship as a team captain for the New Orleans Saints.

Evans launched his healthcare career shortly after and has served on the leadership team of OrthoKinect, a medical device manufacturer, and Healthcare Contracting Solutions, a firm that negotiates better payer care contracts for providers. 

Employee Well-Being a More Accurate Measure of Job Productivity than Incidence of Chronic Disease

Findings from a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed the level of employees' well-being is a more important contributor to on-the-job productivity than their chronic disease status. The study, "Comparing the Contributions of Well-Being and Disease Status to Employee Productivity," is the first to challenge the common belief that physical health is the primary contributor to employee productivity levels. It is also the first study to specifically show that well-being improvement can increase productivity in both healthy populations and those with disease.

Researchers tracked the well-being of employees at three different companies using the Healthways Well-Being Assessment, a tool for measuring an individual's overall well-being and providing insights into his or her physical, emotional and social health. The study included more than 2,600 employees that either had no chronic conditions or had been diagnosed as having diabetes. Diabetes was the focus chronic condition due to its prevalence and demonstrated impact on productivity; those in the diabetes group may also have had comorbid conditions.

Analysis of two consecutive years of survey data revealed that survey participants with higher well-being demonstrated greater workplace productivity, regardless of whether they suffered from chronic conditions.

TriStar Centennial Announces Board of Trustee Appointments

TriStar Centennial Medical Center recently announced three new members to the hospitals’ Board of Trustees.

Edith Taylor Langster, Nashville council member, district 21, and Lawrence J. Pass, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon at TriStar Centennial Medical Center, have been appointed for three-year terms through Dec. 31, 2016. As the 2012 Frist Humanitarian Employee Award recipient, Karen L. Watts, TriStar Centennial Medical Center, was appointed as a non-voting member for a term of one year through Dec. 31, 2014.

Council member Edith Taylor Langster holds a degree in sociology from Tennessee State University and has more than 20 years of experience in public office. She is actively involved in many civic organizations and serves on several community boards.   

A native of Nashville, Lawrence J. Pass, MD, is a cardiothoracic surgeon at TriStar Centennial Medical Center. Pass completed his undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University and earned his medical degree from Northwestern. He completed residencies at Vanderbilt, University of Rochester and Yale University Medical Center.

Karen L. Watts is an associate in the TriStar Centennial imaging department and is actively engaged in the Nashville community. 

HealthStream Adds 900 Courses for Post-Acute Care Organizations

HealthStream, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSTM), a leading provider of workforce development and research solutions for the healthcare industry, recently announced the company has entered into three new partnerships to offer and deliver a wide array of online training, professional certifications, and continuing education opportunities for healthcare professionals employed in post-acute care organizations.

The Institute for Professional Care Education (IPCed), QueTech, and Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging (Mather LifeWays) have each signed on with HealthStream as their exclusive partner to offer their content via the HealthStream Learning Center™ (HLC), an application on the company's workforce development platform.

Victor J. Dzau, MD, Named Next IOM President

Victor J. Dzau, MD, has been named to be the next president of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences recently announced. Currently chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University, president and CEO for Duke University Health System, and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine, Dzau will succeed Harvey V. Fineberg, who has served as IOM’s president for 12 years. Dzau's six-year term as president will begin July 1, 2014.

Dzau is highly regarded as a trailblazer in translational research, health innovation, and global healthcare strategy and delivery. He was the guiding force in establishing the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, and Duke Institute for Health Innovation. Dzau’s own research laid the foundation for the development of angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which are used globally for the treatment of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. He pioneered gene therapy for vascular disease, being the first to introduce DNA decoy molecules to block transcriptions as gene therapy in humans. 

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences and has become recognized as a valuable resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues

Shareable Ink, Surgical Notes Partner in Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Dallas-based Surgical Notes, a nationwide provider of transcription, coding, and document management services for the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) and surgical hospital markets, and Shareable Ink®, the enterprise cloud computing company that transforms point-of-care clinical documentation to structured data and analytics, announced a new strategic partnership in February.

The new partnership will allow physicians in ASCs the ability to immediately enter information electronically preserving their fast, familiar workflows, using Shareable Ink products as the front-end input for the Surgical Notes’ solution. They will now have the ability to effortlessly capture better and higher quality data at the point of care by using the tools that they are comfortable using, such as the digital pen and iPad. Once entered, the data becomes actionable, because it can be used to improve quality and financial performance.

Healthways Inks a Number of Deals

In late February, Minnesota-based Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness announced it has partnered with Healthways to offer its customized fitness programs as part of the Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness Program network. Live 2 B Healthy provides fitness programs with trainers specializing in older adult fitness to senior residential communities in 15 states, while the comprehensive Healthways fitness center network includes more than 15,000 participating fitness and wellness facilities nationwide.

Two days later, Healthways announced AvMed, based in Miami, has become the nation's first Medicare Advantage plan to offer a unique, interactive walking program to its members. As part of an expanded partnership with global well-being improvement leader Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) and its award-winning SilverSneakers® Fitness Program, AvMed is now offering Walkadoo, a pedometer-based walking program from Healthways MeYou Health subsidiary.

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