Hutcheson Hospital To Issue RFP On Wednesday For New Operator

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hutcheson Hospital officials announced the hospital will issue a request for proposals (RFP) to lease its North Georgia medical facility to a prospective healthcare partner on Wednesday.

The RFP "seeks to qualify potential regional and national targets for a long-term operating lease agreement for the hospital, which serves Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties.  The RFP also allows respondents to put forth alternative proposals to the standard lease agreement," officials said.

The RFP focuses on the primary criteria of maintaining a community hospital that meets the needs of the growing population in the tri-county region and provides the best solution to the hospital’s current financial circumstances. Other criteria include the employment of the current hospital staff, proven experience in operating quality hospitals in similar communities, successful experience in actively working with local medical staff and recruiting physicians, and care to the uninsured and underinsured in the service area, it was stated.

“Hutcheson is seeking a partner that can best serve the healthcare needs of the 150,000 people living in our tri-county service area,” said Corky Jewell, chairman of the Hutcheson Medical Center board of directors. “These counties are among the fastest growing in the North Georgia and Chattanooga region.”

Officials from Hutcheson, which has been managed by Erlanger Health System since April 2011, ended an extended effort to negotiate a long-term partnership last month when officials from both hospitals were unable to come to terms on a lease agreement. Hutcheson is seeking affiliation "that allows for greater integration and collaboration, as well as a greater investment of resources in Hutcheson," it was stated.

“Hospital leaders and staff have solidified the core services and quality outcomes in recent years, and have demonstrated that the hospital can be profitable,” said Keith Greene, chairman of the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners. “The right partner will position Hutcheson for continued growth as the community hospital for our region while providing a revenue stream for the repayment  and restructuring of hospital debts.”

Proposals will be due on Oct. 24. Ken Conner of Chattanooga-based Decosimo, the accounting firm managing Hutcheson’s RFP process, said it will likely take 45 to 60 days to solicit and review proposals. During the proposal period, potential respondents will be able to tour the facility, meet with medical staff, board members, county officials and members of the management team. A single proposal will be selected in mid-November and a 60-day due diligence will begin.  Once a final lease agreement is reached, it is subject to a 120-day review by the attorney general for the State of Georgia. The transaction would close following final approval from the Attorney General of Georgia.

Officials said, "Meanwhile, Hutcheson continues to grow its outpatient offering and deliver high quality medical care.  In the past 18 months, the hospital has opened clinics in Pulmonology, Cardiology, Multi-Specialty services, and Urgent Care medicine.  On September 9, Hutcheson opened a new primary care clinic in South Catoosa County and the hospital’s new Transitional Care Clinic.  In addition, the hospital recently attained an outstanding score of 95 percent in a Joint Commission Resources mock survey, which evaluates major aspects of the hospital, including infection control, medication management, patient safety, and quality of care."



Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentences For Murders Of Memphis Family

The Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the convictions and sentences of death for Sedrick Clayton for the murders of Arithio, Patricia, and Pashea Fisher and the conviction for attempted murder of A’Reco Fisher in Memphis.   During the early morning hours of Jan. 19, 2012, a domestic dispute erupted between the defendant and Pashea Fisher, the defendant’s girlfriend, ... (click for more)

Madison Man Charged With Theft, Forgery, And Impersonating A Licensed Professional

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Madison man, who was arrested on Monday on charges of theft, forgery, and impersonating an attorney. At the request of 18 th  District Attorney General Ray Whitley, on March 20, TBI special agents began investigating Wayne Willemsen on a complaint of impersonating ... (click for more)

Pollution For Profit?

Why should Chattanooga allow special interests to boost sediment pollution in our South Chickamauga Creek? To pad their profit margin and pass that cost on to city taxpayers? If your city council votes to reduce the storm water regulations – that is the result we can expect. Special interest homebuilders profit, but citizens pay.  More sediment pollution and paid for with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: America’s ‘Shush’ Fund

Michael Reagan, the son of one of our nation’s greatest presidents, wrote a wonderful op-ed piece on Sunday that explained why he believes the women who have stepped forward to allege they were once abused by Judge Roy Moore. He wrote that when he, a political consultant, is asked why the women waited 40 years to bring up the charges, “I tell them I didn’t reveal my sexual abuse ... (click for more)

LSU Hammers Vols 30-10 In Hoke's Debut As Interim Coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Butch Jones is long gone. But Tennessee’s on-field results Saturday were about the same as they’ve been since Georgia humiliated the Vols 41-0 on Sept. 30. Nationally ranked LSU’s defense effectively stymied Tennessee’s offense most of the game and the Tigers got two rushing touchdowns in a 30-10 SEC victory before an announced crowd of 96,888 at Neyland ... (click for more)

UTC Finishes Tough Season With 10-3 Win Over ETSU

A youthful Tom Arth knew he was facing the biggest coaching challenge of his life back in the spring when he was hired as the next head man for the Chattanooga Mocs football team, but he didn’t know exactly how challenging it would be. It hasn’t been the season that Arth had planned as things didn’t always go as he had hoped, but the best news is that the season finished on a ... (click for more)