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."


McCormick Says Tax Increase Is Last Resort For Transportation Infrastructure

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick released the following statement to clarify previous remarks regarding transportation infrastructure funding: "I would like to take the opportunity to clarify my comments made to the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club yesterday regarding Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure. In no way am I advocating for our state to take on debt to fund ... (click for more)

Medical Examiner Changes Opinion In Case In Which Teen Lost Baby After Beating By Boyfriend

Hamilton County Medical Examiner Dr. James Metcalfe testified Tuesday that he had changed his findings in the death of a teen's foetus after she said she was beaten by her boyfriend. Dr. Metcalfe first listed the death of "Promise Jones" as a homicide due to blunt force injury.  He said he later determined that it could have been as the result of another cause - placental ... (click for more)

Why Chattanooga Should Stop Granting Apartment Complex PILOTs - And Response

A new report indicates why Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials do not need to extend PILOTs to apartment complex developers. Demand is high, therefore developers will continue to build to meet the demand without PILOTs. What is truly needed in the Chattanooga metroplex is low-income affordable housing. “Homeownership Drops to Lowest Level in Decades” ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Gun Control? Accuracy!

When President Barack Obama responded to the tragic killing of nine people who were worshiping at their beloved Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, he immediately blamed the gun, saying, “We don't have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hand on ... (click for more)

Dalton Edges Stuart Heights To Conclude Unbeaten Regular Season

The Dalton Dolphins had several key goals when the 2015 Chattanooga Area Swim League season began on the first day of June and they can put a big check mark by the first one, which was to go undefeated in the ever-competitive Blue division. They accomplished that goal before dark on Monday as they defeated a much-improved Stuart Heights squad by a 404-386 final that may have ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Hosts Nashville Friday In NPSL Playoffs

Chattanooga will host this weekend's National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference playoffs. There are two semifinal matches on Friday with the two winners meeting in the Championship match the following night. “We’re very proud of the team for winning home field advantage,” said board member Krue Brock. “Now that every game is a must-win situation, it will be a big help ... (click for more)