Monday, July 31, 2006

Here They Go Again...9/8

Muskogee Regional Medical Center is Hud's next target (gets old, doesn't it, Hud?) Not terribly newsworthy except for the quotes:

    1. "Anna Gene O’Neal, Essent’s vice president of Hospital Operations/Clinical Quality, said affiliation with schools and creating a good reputation has helped recruit nurses." Recruiting seems to be what they do--retention, or keeping staff, is what they don't.
    2. "Founded in 1999, Essent is based in Nashville. They have purchased five hospitals in Texas, Missouri, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Connery said the company’s management style is based on good relationships with local hospital leadership." Not entirely accurate--they purchased six, and had to sell one--their first, or close it within two months. That accounts for Missouri. As for good relations, I guess that's in the eyes of the beholder....
    3. "Connery said Essent would recruit physicians by doing a needs assessment and cooperating with existing hospital physicians. " Like with Red River, and a cardiology group which didn't make it, elsewhere.
    4. Lastly, and the one I just take to heart: “We’re going to want to grow your reach to markets that you have considered secondary,” he (Hud) said. “Not just stopping the out-migration from your primary area, but redefining your primary area.” Wonder what our primary area is? It certainly isn't what it was before E$$ent got here, and out-migration...your name is Essent.

I had wondered why I had so many hits from Franklin, TN. Now I know. And, guess what, CHS is back as a competitor. This actually could get interesting.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Medicare Woes

There's a new monkey wrench in the Medicare mix--which may affect the E$$ent bottom line:

The New York Times reports (7/17/06) that the Bush administration is planning to cut Medicare payments to hospitals by 20 to 30 percent. It’s the biggest cut-back in Medicare history and health care providers say the results could be devastating, according to the Times.

The Feds say that it’s all about equity to patients regardless of their ability to pay. The new plan is to base payments on hospital costs instead of what the hospital charges. Reimbursements would take into account severity of illness and not just the diagnosis.

Here’s the kicker: The whole thing isn’t going to save the government any money, just move it around differently. As a result, many hospitals will lose out as payments for cardiac care, for instance, would be reduced. The government may end up cutting profits to specialty hospitals while hurting non-profits and research institutions in the process, the Times reports.

There are additional changes coming to imaging facilities, and possibly to leased MRI/CT leasees, modeled after California's reforms. A whole lot of businesses could be feeling stress at this point.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Embarrassed? I am...8/12

I think the sentiments of this email are echoed by many.

As a former employee, that left because of illness, not E$$ent, I have one question: When is the community going to get involved?

Even with the high price of fuel, Pts. are going in droves to Dallas, Tyler, and elsewhere for care. Why? Because they have lost faith in the system in Paris. That is a very sad situation for our people.

At one time PRMC was a place to be proud of. I truly loved my job and the atmosphere there. I have become ashamed to tell anyone that I worked there. The comments that are heard in the area are awful.

The employees can not do this by themselves; they need support from all of the surrounding counties.

Are the community leaders also on E$$ent's payroll? If not, PLEASE HELP to get this hospital back in shape for pt. care, not just dollar signs. If the quality of care had improved there would be no problem, but it has steadily gone down since E$$ent entered the picture.

This is affecting more than the hospital, people who used to come from different counties, far and wide, are now choosing to risk their life to get out of Paris, to a facility where they don't know anyone, and are far from home, just to avoid the chance that the rumors are true about the poor care given in Paris.

When these same people came here before, I'm sure they shopped with the local merchants. That just adds to the losses that most merchants cannot afford at this time.

Who do we have to approach to get the hospital back to taking care of our people????????
I wonder when a sense of embarrassment will overtake this community as a whole.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


By popular demand: 'Nuff said.

Can you say "HAPPY FEET?"

Now if the scarecrow could only get a brain...rather than golf clubs....

All pictures and comments (on this page) are by request, and quoted.

Blogger has had an unusually high hit rate and may be having server problems. Email is still a practical solution.....

Apparently back on track. On to Oz!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A New Sheriff?...7/23

Rumors abound about E$$ent's financials, but here's a new one: The folks that Weatherford selected, CHS, is buying PRMC. If it's true, you heard it here first. If it isn't, I didn't say nuthin'.

In retrospect, I did have some nice things to say about them, but I wouldn't have thought enough to bring them here.... Guess it wasn't me, then.

Apparently they've been buying hospitals that are in the same category as what Essent has been, but with deeper pockets, they can afford to take the long view. Funny, they're out of the Nashville area, too, I believe.

Granbury has been one of their recent acquisitions, and despite a near boycott, have plans to triple the number of beds, and with a new facility/medical staff, they are betting on success.

This was a quickie, and not as well developed as the usual fare, but I just got the email, and had to punch it out. Stay tuned for updates, revisions, and flat out denials.... If true, this has scooped the Nashville Business News and a lot of reputable papers...oh yeah, and the Snooze....

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Gone Fishing...8/4

Another heads-up from the radiology crew.

Yo, Frank,
Just wanted to give you the update on the new PACs system that E$$ent was so impressed with: apparently with over five users on it, it dumps and no one can see anything. Considering they have eight possible stations, that can be a problem.

Dr. Hobbs in his calm, unflappable fashion, said that it was not acceptable, after resetting multiple times the other night. This could be called the 'million-dollar muddle'.

The system was promoted by the manufacturer as being primarily for clinic use, and apparently they were right...or is it just the PACs administration??? Just call him "Crash".

Looks like Dr. Fish is on the road again. Got the heads up that he and another doc had a significant disagreement--leading to his dismissal. They've really got to get that under control.

However, there might be additional turnovers in Radiology foretold by a recent recruiting trip made by Frau Blucher (the Bit#h of Buchanwald), and two of the newbies. With multiple hires already in the pipeline, and a graduating class in December, it may not be who's being hired, it's who's being fired.

But the word is spreading, I was talking with a couple techs last week from ETMC and a hospital up in Arkansas, and they had heard about this place...and the blog.
Nice to know we’re appreciated! I've gotten comments from all over the state, as well as all over the country. In some Google searches, we're hitting the first and second results!