Healthcare

Lilly Knoepp

Nantahala Health Foundation has officially announced its board of directors.

Lilly Knoepp

The Dogwood Health Trust Foundation has officially opened up the search for a CEO.

The organization, which was created by the sale of Mission Health to for-profit HCA Health, has posted a leadership profile on their website with details about applying for the position.

Good news for last minute insurance shoppers. Pisgah Legal Services, in partnership with Mission Health is hosting a free enrollment event Saturday, December 15 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  at the Mission Health/AB Tech Conference Center at 16 Fernihurst Drive.  No appointment is needed.

Getty Images

Last year, more than half a million North Carolina residents signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.  With less than two weeks left in the 2019 open enrollment period, there is concern that those numbers will be down.  BPR’s Helen Chickering checked in with Pisgah Legal Services managing attorney Jackie Kiger . 

Photo courtesy of Harris Regional Hospital

 As Duke Lifepoint hospitals wait to see what comes of the merger between Lifepoint and RCCH Healthcare, citizens of Swain, Jackson and Haywood county now have another healthcare issue: their insurance.

Lilly Knoepp

Mission Health has finalized their deal with HCA but it isn’t done yet. The deal is currently on the desk of NC Attorney General Josh Stein. Stein is expected to approve or amend the deal near the end of November.

Mission Health’s deal will affect 18 counties in Western North Carolina so each community has a chance to send letters to Stein voicing their concerns about the deal or their support.

Photo courtesy of Southwestern Community College

  There isn't just a lack of hospitals in rural Western North Carolina. There is also a need for more trained medical professionals to care for the population from doctors and nurses to CNAs.

 

This summer, Southwestern Community College secured over $20 million dollars from the federal, state and county governments for a new health sciences building.

 

Last week, the Warren County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to lease the empty building of the former Warren Community Health Clinic to a local physician planning to start a new practice.

This is the last week to sign up for health insurance through the exchange. More than 209,000 people in North Carolina have enrolled as of the first week in December, according to the federal count. 

BPR News

The open enrollment period for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is just around the corner, and uncertainty about costs, subsidies and what policies will actually cover is still growing.  Adding to the anxiety for consumers in Western North Carolina, the only insurer on the exchange is still at odds with the region’s largest health care provider.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports

As of Thursday, Mission Health says its contract with Blue Cross has expired and "essentially all Mission Health physicians and facilities are now out-of-network providers with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina."

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are defending their proposal to replace Obamacare today in a Senate hearing.  The Senate Finance Committee begins its deliberations on the bill around 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

Mission Health announced Thursday it wants to continue accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, but only for those who receive it through the healthcare exchange set up through the Affordable Care Act.  But the insurer rejected Mission's offer, saying it's unfair to those who have Blue Cross Blue Shield through other means, such as their jobs.

Healthcare Dominates Meadows Town Hall

Aug 8, 2017
Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Western North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows met face to face with supporters and detractors during a town hall debate last night near Hendersonville that was largely dominated by health care.  BPR’s Jeremy Loeb was there.

Western North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows says he’d like to see GOP leadership in the House follow that of the Senate and delay their scheduled August recess.  The reason – Congress has passed very little of President Trump or the Republican Party’s legislative priorities.  That includes repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.  Meadows says he doesn’t understand why the Senate cannot pass a bill, even if it’s one

Matt Bush BPR

Mission Health says its decision to stop delivering babies at Angel Medical Center in Macon County was made to keep the hospital open.  Mission estimates around 400 children a year are currently born at the Franklin facility, roughly one per day.  CEO Dr. Ronald Paulus says labor and delivery care at Angel Medical loses the hospital between $1 and $2-million per year, which he says puts all the other healthcare done at the facility in jeopardy. “We can’t let one program, even important, put all of the care at risk for a rural community.  We just can’t do it.”

Angel Medical Center, Mapio.net

The decision to stop delivering babies at a Macon County hospital is proving to be an unpopular one in the mountains.  

Angel Medical Center in Franklin has been in the business of delivering babies for more than sixty years, but all of that is about to change come mid-summer.  Mission Health, which runs the small community hospital, announced it will be discontinuing child labor and delivery services at the facility in July.  The decision is unpopular with young people in Macon County.

Matt Bush WCQS

Congressman Mark Meadows says “steps in a positive direction” are being made in regards to resurrecting Republican hopes of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, known to many as "Obamacare".

House Republicans in D.C. are expected to vote tomorrow/today/Thursday on the proposed bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare.’  One Congressman who won’t be voting in favor of the measure is Mark Meadows.

Meadows A No-Show At Mountain Town Hall

Feb 27, 2017

Congress was in recess last week, meaning some but not all members were holding town hall meetings with constituents back home.  Members of Western North Carolina's congressional delegation were NOT holding such meetings however.  So residents of Clay and Cherokee Counties held their own.

It was standing room only at the Clay County courthouse in Hayesville, as more than a hundred locals turned out for a town hall meeting on the Affordable Care Act— known as “Obamacare” to many—and what is to become of it.