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."


Rape Charge Dismissed Against Man Who Allegedly Posed As Marine

Rape and assault charges have been dismissed in Criminal Court against a Chattanooga man allegedly posing as a U.S. Marine last September. The dismissal was in the case of 27-year-old Robert "Bobby" Alan Bradshaw. He was accused of driving a woman to his home and immediately telling her that he would kill her if she did not do exactly what he told her to. She told police ... (click for more)

Agencies Coordinating Griggs Arrests Through DA Crump's Office; Maddux Goes On Paid Leave

Agencies dealing with two arrests of Cleveland Police Department officer Jeffrey Griggs in two counties say they are coordinating their efforts to prevent overlap. One of the arrests involved a confrontation with then-Cleveland Police Chief Dennis Maddux, who was in a police car with the wife of Officer Griggs. Maddux was afterward demoted to captain. ... (click for more)

The Middle Valley Walmart Makes No Sense

There has been quite a bit of hoopla over the proposed new Walmart grocery store in Middle Valley.  Since my family has lived in Middle Valley in a home they built by hand way back in 1954 and said house is now housing generations 3, 4 and 5 I feel that I can give my opinion based on nothing more than life experience.    When this house was built there was a gravel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Father Kelly’s ‘Hallelujah’

Last April, in the special way that only some older men are lucky enough to possess, the childish imp came out in Father Ray Kelly. A parish priest in Oldcastle, Ireland, he was conducting wedding vows for a handsome couple when the 62-year-old decided to surprise them with a totally-unscripted rendition of Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, “Hallelujah.” When he did, there soon ... (click for more)

UTC Women Open Southern Conference Tournament With Big Win

  Fueled by a 25-5 run to open the second half, top-seeded Chattanooga cruised by eighth-seeded UNCG, 78-44, in the opening game of the first round of the 2015 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship, presented by General Shale. The win moves #17/18 Chattanooga to 27-3 on the season, and puts them into Friday’s semifinal, where the Mocs will face the winner ... (click for more)

TSSAA State Tournament Games Postponed Due To Weather

All TSSAA state basketball tournament games scheduled for today have been postponed due to extremely hazardous road conditions.  Today’s schedule will resume tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in order to allow extra time to for road conditions to improve in the morning.   Friday’s scheduled semifinal games will be played on Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m. due ... (click for more)