HCA

Two long-time members of Transylvania Regional Hospital board of directors resigned Monday, saying they were “embarrassed” to have supported the sale of the Mission Health System to giant HCA Healthcare and that they now fear for the future of the Brevard-based community hospital under HCA’s profit-driven management.

HCA

A class-action lawsuit alleges that HCA Healthcare, the for-profit owner of Mission Health, is using a monopoly to charge more while providing poorer quality of care.

Lilly Knoepp

Angel Medical Center has a new CEO. Mission Health has named Clint Kendall the new Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Office of the Macon County hospital.

“I am excited to be in the community of Franklin and look forward to caring for the people of this area in my new role at Angel Medical Center. I hope to meet many of you in the coming months,” said Kendall in a press release.

Lilly Knoepp

Angel Medical Center CEO Karen Gorby is retiring. Gorby also served as the Chief Nursing Officer for the Macon County hospital which is part of the Mission Health System.

Gorby’s career in healthcare  has spanned four decades, according to an announcement from Dr. Timothy Layman, director of Hospital Clinical Operations.

Layman will be the interim CEO/CNO at Angel Medical Center until a new CEO is chosen.

Courtesy of Mission Health

Registered nurses at Mission Hospital in Asheville agreed on their first union contract.

The three-year deal increases wages, guarantees breaks, mandates nurses must be given PPE and free access to COVID-19 testing.  It also forms a Professional Practice Committee to review staff levels.

Registered nurses at Mission Hospital in Asheville have announced a tentative agreement on a contract with HCA. The deal will be shared with the nurses' union this week.  The negotiating team is recommending for the nurses to approve the deal.  Details about the contract will be shared after the vote. Mission Hospital nurses joined National Nurses United in September 2020.

Quality Of Care Concerns Rise At Mission Hospital

May 21, 2021

Forrest Johnson fell in her garden on April 22 and broke her leg in two places. Her husband and stepdaughter rushed the 68-year-old former nurse to the Mission Hospital emergency room in Asheville from their home near Burnsville, about an hour’s drive. They arrived around 8 p.m.

Profits Up At HCA, Ratings Down At Mission

May 3, 2021
Photo courtesy HCA Mission

HCA Healthcare, which owns and operates Mission Hospital in Asheville, reported this month that it made $1.4 billion in profits for the first three months of 2021, more than double the amount for the same period last year. 

Courtesy of Gibbins Advisors

It’s been two years since HCA Healthcare purchased Mission Health.  The details of the sale continue to be discussed by the independent monitor assigned to ensure the stipulations in the deal are followed. 

Nonprofit Mission Made Lots Of Profits. Especially For Bosses

Dec 10, 2020

For a hospital system organized as a not-for-profit charity, Mission Health made a lot of profits.

Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust, the foundation created to disburse the profits of the sale of Mission Health, is required to host an annual public meeting. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the meeting was hosted via Zoom this week.  

About 600 people virtually attended Dogwood Health Trust's first annual public meeting. 

Janice Brumit, chair of the Dogwood board, reports the foundation has given out about $40 million in total across the 18-county region it covers including the Qualla Boundary.

Mission Sale: Good For WNC, Or Just HCA?

Oct 23, 2020

Years from now, the decision in 2018 by the directors of Mission Health to sell to HCA Healthcare might be seen as a brilliant strategic maneuver, one that guaranteed affordable, high-quality healthcare for future generations of western North Carolinians. This was, and still is, the position of the directors and executives who pushed the deal.

A Done Deal: How Mission Health Wooed HCA

Oct 20, 2020

The news stunned Asheville and Western North Carolina, where Mission Health System Inc. was the area’s largest employer, its main healthcare provider, and a long-time source of civic pride. Seemingly out of the blue, Mission’s directors publicly announced on March 21, 2018, that they had voted to sell the 133-year-old nonprofit to HCA Healthcare, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, for an estimated $1.5 billion.

Courtesy of American Journal of Surgery

Since March, more than 9,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in BPR’s Western North Carolina listening area.  Most of those cases end up at the region’s biggest hospital, Mission in Asheville.  Dr. William Hathaway is Chief Medical Officer there. He says the hospital has been following CDC guidelines around patient testing.

Nurses at Mission Hospital and its adjacent facilities in Asheville have voted to join a union, National Nurses United, by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Nurses at Mission Health's hospital in Asheville are currently voting on whether to join a union, National Nurses United.

Lilly Knoepp

HCA Healthcare’s CEO announced this week that the health system would be limiting its capital projects because of the COVID-19 Health crisis.

“The Company believes the extent of COVID-19’s adverse impact on its operating results and financial condition will be driven by many factors, most of which are beyond the Company’s control and ability to forecast,” states HCA’s first quarter report.

In February, Attorney General Josh Stein sent HCA Healthcare a letter requesting answers by this week about allegations the healthcare system is not following through agreements it made when the for-profit firm purchased Mission Health last year. 

Those answers were due at the end of March – this past Tuesday.  Stein says he has given HCA more time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lilly Knoepp

Macon County’s Local Disaster Preparedness Team met this morning to talk about where the county stands as the coronavirus, also known as  COVID-19, continues to be a threat to the country. Local hospital officials, law enforcement, public school and health department officials came together to coordinate plans to keep the community safe. 

 

Their main message: Right now, there are no coronavirus cases in North Carolina. 

 

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blew the cover on some big Western North Carolina news

during a rally in Winston-Salem Thurs.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blew the cover on some big Western North Carolina news during a rally in Winston-Salem Thurs.

Lilly Knoepp

Tuesday, NC Attorney General Josh Stein weighed in on community complaints about HCA Healthcare. 

Lilly Knoepp

The independent monitor overseeing HCA’s compliance with the agreements it made when it bought Mission Health has completed its round of public meetings.  BPR’s Lilly Knoepp talked with Gibbins Advisor’s co-founder about what’s next: 

During the first two months of this year, Gibbins Advisors held 7 public meetings in Mission Health’s service area.  Ron Winters estimates over 600 people attended those meetings to share their experiences on how healthcare at Mission facilities has changed since HCA bought the health system in February of last year. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Concerns over patient care and staffing levels dominated Monday evening’s public meeting in Asheville held by the independent monitor overseeing HCA’s purchase Mission Health.  

Lilly Knoepp

  As Mission Health announced its sale to HCA for $1.5 billion dollars, Western North Carolina’s other major hospital system, Duke LifePoint, is going through its own merger. For-profit Duke LifePoint is moving forward in a merger with much larger for-profit healthcare system RCCH Healthcare.

 

Courtesy of Mission Health

As Mission Health negotiates a deal for sale with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), one of the biggest concerns for the Western North Carolina community is the closure of small rural hospitals within the system from Franklin to Spruce Pine.

Mayor of Franklin Bob Scott and Mayor of Highlands Pat Taylor have both called for greater transparency from Mission and HCA during the current due diligence process. Mission has answered that call with Facebook Live panels to share finding from Mission representatives during visits to HCA locations and meetings with HCA officials.

Photo courtesy of Mission Health

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital will stick with Mission through its potential sale to Hospital Corporation of America.