Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

MADIS­ONVILLE, Ky.— Trover Health Sys­tem has en­tered into exclusive ne­go­ti­a­tions to join five-hos­pi­tal Bap­tist Health­care Sys­tem. Trover in­cludes 197bed Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Madis­onville, as well as a num­ber of clin­ics in the western part of the state. Trover’s board con­sid­ered let­ters of in­tent from three fi­nal­ists be­fore set­tling on Louisville, Ky.-based Bap­tist Health­care, ac­cord­ing to a joint news re­lease. Also on the short list were 47-hos­pi­tal Life­point Hos­pi­tals, Brent­wood, Tenn., and 378-bed Owens­boro (Ky.) Med­i­cal Health Sys­tem. “We are con­fi­dent that Bap­tist’s ster­ling rep­u­ta­tion and com­mit­ment to qual­ity care will as­sist us in serv­ing our re­gion of Western Ken­tucky,” E. Ber­ton Whi­taker, Trover’s pres­i­dent and CEO, said in the re­lease. “By join­ing the Bap­tist sys­tem, Trover joins the Bap­tist statewide net­work of hos­pi­tals and will gain ac­cess to a broad range of oper­a­tional and fi­nan­cial re­sources, as well as Bap­tist’s clin­i­cal qual­ity ini­tia­tives and ex­pe­ri­enced lead­er­ship.” The two will now be­gin ne­go­ti­a­tions to­ward a fi­nal agree­ment. AUSTIN, Texas— Dr. Rolando Arafiles Jr., who this month pleaded guilty to mis­use of of­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion and re­tal­i­at­ing against two nurses who sent an anony­mous com­plaint about him to the Texas Med­i­cal Board, sur­ren­dered his Texas med­i­cal li­cense Nov. 11. The board will not seek fur­ther dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against Arafiles, who will pay a $5,000 fine and spend 60 days in the An­drews County Jail and five years on pro­ba­tion as part of an agree­ment with pros­e­cu­tors, ac­cord­ing to news re­leases from the med­i­cal board and the Texas at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice. The board dis­ci­plined Arafiles in Fe­bru­ary but al­lowed him to con­tinue prac­tic­ing. In their let­ter to the board, the nurses—vick­i­lyn Galle and Anne Marie Mitchell—al­leged that Arafiles en­dan­gered pa­tients at 19-bed Win­kler County Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal, Ker­mit, Texas, with un­ortho­dox care, such as treat­ing them with her­bal reme­dies. The let­ter ref­er­enced spe­cific pa­tient files by num­ber, and the nurses were sub­se­quently fired and charged with a third-de­gree felony mis­use of of­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion. The charge against Galle was dropped just be­fore her case was set to go to trial and Mitchell was ac­quit­ted. Win­kler County Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tor Stan Wi­ley pleaded guilty to play­ing a role in the re­tal­i­a­tion and was sen­tenced to 30 days in jail. The pros­e­cu­tor and sher­iff who brought about the in­dict­ment were found guilty on re­lated charges. SAN AN­TO­NIO— The sys­tem owned by Van­guard Health Sys­tems, Nashville, is elim­i­nat­ing and con­sol­i­dat­ing po­si­tions to re­duce its work­force, af­fect­ing 118 em­ploy­ees. Bap­tist Health Sys­tem said in a state­ment that the job cuts are the di­rect re­sult of cuts in the Texas Med­i­caid pro­gram and the fed­eral Medi­care pro­gram, as well as uncer­tainty about the lo­cal econ­omy. None of the job cuts in­volved em­ploy­ees who pro­vide care at the bed­side, Bap­tist spokes­woman Patti Tan­ner said. The cuts leave the sys­tem with about 6,300 full-time equiv­a­lent po­si­tions, Tan­ner said. The Bap­tist sys­tem in­cludes five cam­puses and about 1,300 staffed beds. Ear­lier this month, Nashville-based HCA said the Med­i­caid cuts that Texas im­ple­mented on Sept. 1 would cost the com­pany ap­prox­i­mately $80 mil­lion on an an­nual ba­sis. In March, Van­guard trimmed its cor­po­rate staff by 10%, af­fect­ing about 21 peo­ple. Ear­lier this month, Char­lie Martin, Van­guard’s chair­man and CEO, said the com­pany ex­pects re­im­burse­ment and vol­ume pres­sures to con­tinue, and the com­pany is go­ing to man­age its costs to vol­ume and re­im­burse­ment weak­ness. Weak eco­nomic growth, lack of cov­er­age and more fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity on pa­tients are all weigh­ing on vol­umes, Martin said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call to dis­cuss the com­pany’s re­sults for the quar­ter ended Sept. 30: “Surg­eries that I would have told you a few years ago were not elec­tives are show­ing signs that peo­ple are putting them off.” JACK­SON, Miss.— Blair E. Bat­son Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren re­cently cut the rib­bon on a 16,000-square-foot emer­gency depart­ment and trauma unit. The hos­pi­tal, part of the Univer­sity of Mis­sis­sippi Med­i­cal Cen­ter, be­gan con­struc­tion on the $5.8 mil­lion fa­cil­ity in 2009. The ex­ist­ing 5,100-square-foot emer­gency depart­ment, built nearly 30 years ago, was de­signed to han­dle 15,000 pa­tients an­nu­ally. The ED cur­rently treats about 20,000 more than that an­nu­ally, ac­cord­ing to a hos­pi­tal news re­lease. “This new chil­dren’s emer­gency depart­ment en­ables us to serve even more chil­dren in the Jack­son area and through­out the state of Mis­sis­sippi,” Guy Giesecke, the hos­pi­tal’s CEO, said in the re­lease. “The additional space and bet­ter flow will sig­nif­i­cantly help pro­vide bet­ter ser­vice and pri­vacy to our pa­tients and fam­i­lies, and op­ti­mally

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