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.


Free Smoking Cessation Courses Begin In October

More than 16 million Americans live with a disease caused by smoking, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It also reports one in four adults still use tobacco products, at least occasionally.  The American Lung Association lists smoking as the leading cause of preventable death.   CHI Memorial’s Rees Skillern Cancer Institute offers a ... (click for more)

BlueCross Plans Earn 4-Star Quality Rating For 2016

Two BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee plans each earned an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars for 2016 from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an accrediting body for health insurance plans. "The star ratings, debuted by NCQA in 2015, are designed to help consumers understand how well a health insurance plan supports its members in getting recommended care. With ... (click for more)

Highway 58 Man Charged In Fatal Hit And Run In Dayton, Tn.

A Highway 58 man has been arrested in connection with a fatal hit and run of a Rhea County man.   Walter Hale was badly injured and later died after he was struck in Dayton.   Authorities were led to Douglas Edward Alvey, 52, through video from the We Care business in Dayton, where the 60-year-old victim worked.   After officers with the Dayton ... (click for more)

Man, 78, Found Dead With Gunshot Wound To The Chest At Residence On Central Avenue

A 78-year-old man has been found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest at a residence on Central Avenue. Chattanooga Police were called to the 1900 block of Central Avenue on Thursday at 10:08 a.m. Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police officers located George Garth deceased. At this time there is no suspect information available. Chattanooga Violent Crimes Bureau investigators ... (click for more)

Patrol Cars Donation To Kevin Muhammad's Nation Of Islam Sets A Dangerous Precedent

Re: City Police donating two patrol cars to Kevin Muhammad's Nation of Islam: While I know it's unpopular to mention the wisdom of separation of church and state, this sets a dangerous precedent and should meet with concern from everyone who values religious and secular freedom. What's next? Southern Baptists getting old city parking scooters to patrol church parking lots ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanks A Lot For Nothing

Somebody should have gotten an award last Tuesday when a 90-minute “education summit” involving our school leaders, politicians and media produced absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Oh, there are a number of candidates we could give an award for “nothing,” both in our school district and on its fringes. Yet to find Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen brought her high-and-mighty ... (click for more)