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.

Morning Pointe Invites Community For Trick-or-Treating On Friday

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford invites families and friends for food, games and Halloween fun for all ages on Friday, 3-5 p.m.  Come dressed in your best costume, and trick-or-treat from door to door with residents. Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford is at 7719 Shallowford Road in Chattanooga. For more information, call  ... (click for more)

Erlanger’s Data Management Platform For Stroke Recognized As A Finalist By Cleveland Clinic During IT Challenge

The Cleveland Clinic 2016 Medical Innovation Summit recognizes CEREBROS, Erlanger Health System’s partner in data management for stroke, as one of four finalists from more than 90 submissions of cutting-edge solutions to improve health care during this year’s IT Challenge.     As the first Neurovascular Information System designed for neurology and stroke programs, ... (click for more)

School Board Chooses Charlotte Firm For Superintendent Search Firm; Lennon, Testerman Want To Keep Kelly

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 5-4 to choose a Charlotte, N.C., search firm to pick a new county school superintendent. Coleman Lew and Associates was selected over McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha. That vote came after board members Kathy Lennon and David Testerman started the session by saying they are very pleased with Interim Supt. Kirk Kelly and would ... (click for more)

East Ridge May Revise Ordinance On Extended Stays; Fire Hall Cost Well Above Projection; Dunkin Donuts, Firehouse Subs Going Into Border Region Sector

A large portion of the East Ridge City Council meeting Thursday night was devoted to the discussion of a proposed amendment to the ordinance previously passed relating to minimum hotel and extended stay hotel requirements. The new recommendations, which the city manager, codes enforcer and city attorney have drafted after meetings with hotel associations, are that a stay can be ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)