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."


Chattanooga Man With 23 Felonies Gets 15 Years In Federal Prison

A Chattanooga man who prosecutors say has 40 prior convictions, including 23 felonies, was sentenced on Thursday to 15 years in federal prison. Darien Houston, 43, appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Prosecutor Chris Poole had asked for the high end of the range - 220 months, saying Houston is a member of the Vice Lords gang. He said the felonies include burglary, possession ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Thieves Roll Out Of Lookout Valley Walmart With The Goods

Police said thieves in two recent cases carried stacks of goods out of the Lookout Valley Walmart without bothering to pay. In one case, two black females had $313.84 in groceries. They presented a SNAP card, but it was declined. The women, who had the items in two large black purses, then walked out and left in a red Dodge Ram pickup truck. * * * In another case at ... (click for more)

A Slap In The Face To Local Police Applicants

Little Andy has once again shown what he thinks about the Chattanooga Police Department by ignoring all the applicants from within the department. There were several great candidates within the police department that had as much experience as the chosen one from 1,000 miles away. This is a slap in the face for any officer who is at the Chattanooga Police Department who has aspirations ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW Voices In Detroit

Today we are going to eavesdrop on somewhat of an open conversation that was held far to the north after the United Auto Workers surprisingly dropped a legal challenge with the National Labor Relations Board in Chattanooga the first thing on Monday morning. The NLRB judge certified the VW workers’ February vote to turn away the UAW at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Beats McMinn, 10-4, For 5-AAA Tourney's Top Seed

East Hamilton put the finishing touches on the seedings for next week’s District 5-AAA baseball tournament at Ooltewah High with a 10-4 victory over McMinn County on Wednesday at Chattanooga State. The win gives the Hurricanes (19-13, 9-3) the No. 1 seed for the tournament, meaning Bradley Central (17-11, 9-3) will be the second seed. With East Hamilton’s win, Walker Valley got ... (click for more)

Taylor Hall's Late Night Basketball Call

It was the midnight call that could change her life. It was the Seattle Storm of the WNBA calling to invite soon-to-graduate UTC senior basketball player Taylor Hall to the Emerald City for a tryout and a possible spot with the pro team. “I have never been one to show a lot of emotion, so I was pretty calm when the call did come in, “said Hall. “But my roommate ... (click for more)