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.


Siskin Hospital Speech Therapist To Present At International Association

Charlotte Purcell, MS, CFY-SLP, has submitted and been accepted to present her poster to the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, World Congress to be held in Dublin, Ireland in August. Her presentation is entitled “Effect of LSVT-Loud on dysarthria and apraxia of speech secondary to stroke.”            ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Senate Bill To Spur Treatments, Cures For Patients Would Be “Most Important Legislation This Year”

Senator Lamar Alexander told members of the Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City Chambers of Commerce Wednesday that he is working on legislation that would "affect virtually every American and be the most important bill Congress considers this year." "Last August, Nashville resident Douglas Oliver was legally blind and today, he can see. Also today, a Tennessee company is ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Pledges $6 Million For New Recreation Center At Avondale

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that he plans to include $6 million in his upcoming budget for a new Recreation Center at Avondale. He said at a press conference at the current center on Dodson Avenue, "We want to make an investment in Avondale." Mayor Berke said the current center by Wilcox Boulevard was built in 1949 and last remodeled in 2002. The new center, which ... (click for more)

Developer Plans Single-Family Homes, Townhomes, Apartments, Retail On 7.5 Acres At South Broad Street

A developer is planning single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and retail on a 7.5-acre South Broad Street site. The development by South Broad LLC and DEW LLC is located within several blocks between South Broad Street, W. 26th Street, Long Street and W. 27th Street. It would include a 3-story U-shaped apartment building with ground floor retail at the north end of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)