Hutcheson Says Increase In Subspecialty Physician Services Bringing Rise In Patients

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hutcheson Medical Center officials said the facility is growing its subspecialty physician services, and it has brought an increase in the volume of patients the hospital treats.

Officials said, "And one statistic that correlates with its expansion of subspecialty services and patient volume is the case mix index, a reflection of how medically complex a hospital’s inpatient population is."

A hospital’s case mix index is broken down into a Medicare index for patients over the age of 65, and an overall case mix index that includes patients of all ages, it was stated.

Sandra Siniard, chief nursing officer at Hutcheson, said, “In May, our Medicare case mix index was 1.396, which is the second highest Medicare index we’ve ever reported at the hospital.

“Patients of Medicare age are typically sicker and their index is generally higher than the overall case mix index. So it was surprising to see that May’s overall index, which includes patients of all ages, was at an all-time high of 1.348.”

Tim Ashburn, the medical director of pulmonology and critical care at Hutcheson, said, “There’s a misconception out there that community hospitals treat patients that aren’t that sick, and I can tell you that is absolutely not true.”

he said he attributes the hospital’s expansion of subspecialty services as the reason why sicker patients are choosing to go to Hutcheson instead of to a Chattanooga-area hospital. He said, “We have pulmonology, cardiology, general surgery, orthopedics, gastroenterology, and hospitalists at Hutcheson, and that allows us to treat 90% of all medical issues that come through our emergency department instead of having to transfer patients out to larger hospitals. We treat some really sick patients here and the doctors and nurses do a great job of getting them well and back home.”

“I’m really encouraged about the hospital’s expansion of physician services,” stated Farrell Hayes, president and CEO of Hutcheson. “We are a community hospital and our goal is to offer broad, comprehensive medical services for residents in Walker, Dade, and Catoosa.”

He said the hospital is currently looking to add neurology to its existing medical service offering.


Erlanger Offers Classes And Events For Feb. 2-8

Erlanger offers online childbirth education class.  The online class is an easy-to-understand interactive program that includes more than 70 videos, animated illustrations, downloadable PDF files, review quizzes and information specific to Erlanger East and Erlanger Baroness birthing services.  By choosing the online childbirth program, participants will have access to ... (click for more)

Events Announced For National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, held annually on Feb. 7, began in 2001 as an effort to encourage African American and African immigrant communities to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved with HIV/AIDS. The day is a national mobilization initiative to come together in unity to respond to the crisis of HIV/AIDS that is impacting the African American ... (click for more)

6,533 Apply For Chattanooga Housing Authority Voucher Program

The Chattanooga Housing Authority closed its Housing Choice Voucher Program application process Monday at 11:59 p.m.  A total of 6,533 people applied. CHA will randomly select 1,000 of those names on Monday, Feb. 2, for the voucher program waiting list.  Anyone who is not selected will need to apply again in the future.  The Housing Choice Voucher program is ... (click for more)

Bradley Commissioners Concerned About Firefighters Leaving For Better-Paying Jobs

The Bradley County Commission agreed during a Monday evening work session that they will have to look into the issue of many county firefighters leaving for better paying jobs elsewhere. The discussion comes after the city's recently announced plan to possibly create their own separate ambulance service.   In surrounding areas, firefighters can make as much as ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Big (Un)Easy: Mardi Gras

Not since Hurricane Katrina has New Orleans had a bigger problem. When over a million visitors flood the city for the annual Mardi Gras bash over the next three weeks, there will be signs all around town and into the French Quarter that blare, “CAUTION: Walk In Large Groups. We (heart symbol) love NOPD. We Just Need More Of Them.” In other words, it appears things are quite unsettled ... (click for more)