Fairmont Regional Cancer Center Acquisition Discussed
WVUH’s intent to purchase Fairmont Regional Cancer Center (FRCC) was first announced in this newsletter in January. In March, Mon General filed as an affected party with the West Virginia Health Care Authority (HCA) and requested a public hearing on WVUH’s application for a Certificate of Need (CON). And last week, allegations from Mon General about the acquisition of the cancer center made statewide news.
In documents filed with the HCA and in the news stories last week, Mon General accuses WVUH of reneging on the settlement agreement that allowed the WVUH tower expansion project to move forward. But according to WVUH President and CEO Bruce McClymonds, those claims are false.
Last year, the owner of the FRCC filed a request with the HCA to move its offices to Mon General’s campus without going through the CON process, and WVUH filed to intervene with the case.
“To move the Fairmont Regional Cancer Center to Morgantown would have been expensive, redundant and unnecessary,” McClymonds said. “WVUH already provides state-of-the-art radiation oncology services in Morgantown in the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.”
At the same time, WVUH and Mon General began working on an agreement that would allow the WVUH tower expansion project to proceed. Mon General agreed to withdraw its opposition to the tower, if WVUH would withdraw from intervening in the CON process regarding the FRCC.
“We did what we agreed to do so that we could proceed with the tower expansion – we withdrew from the CON reviewability argument,” McClymonds said. "And we decided to pursue working together with Mon General on a possible joint radiation therapy program in Morgantown. We had some conversations about it at the highest levels but then Mon General pulled out of those discussions.”
McClymonds added that WVUH began its own talks with FRCC because it wanted to ensure that cancer patients in Marion County would be left with local options for therapy when they’re the most vulnerable. “We decided it was in the best interest of both communities to keep the cancer center in Fairmont. Ultimately, it was the owner’s decision. So we are moving forward with that acquisition.”
The HCA must issue a certificate of need for WVUH to purchase the cancer center. A date for the public hearing requested by Mon General has not been set.
WVU Urgent Care Free to Move
The Office of Judges upheld the West Virginia Health Care Authority’s decision reaffirming that UHA is a private office practice of physicians, and rejected Mon General’s various appeals and challenges to UHA’s plans to move WVU Urgent Care two miles away from its current location.
“UHA has a long history of working in clinics throughout the state to address the needs of West Virginians,” said Judie Charlton, MD, CMO, WVU Healthcare. “We look forward to continuing our efforts in a nimble fashion.
“Within the last few weeks, UHA physicians have been asked to help with unmet healthcare needs in Tucker, Marshall and Marion Counties,” she continued. “ We are glad that we can continue to serve the state without being unduly hindered by a CON process that was not created to monitor these types of endeavors.”
WVU Urgent Care will relocate from its current facility on Van Voorhis Road to its new facility at Suncrest Towne Centre in mid-June.
Update From LDI Shared With Staff
Late last week, a summary from the April Leadership Development Institute (LDI) was shared with staff via CONNECT. The update focused on Coaching for Excellence and included the attributes of high-performing employees. In mid to late May, a second communication about the Coaching for Excellence effort is planned. Attributes of high, sold and low performers will be shared with staff at that time.
Call Centers Strive to Improve Access, Customer Satisfaction
WVU Healthcare is working hard to improve the way it handles the more than one million phone calls it receives from patients and referring providers each year. The goal is to improve practice efficiency, increase patient access to physician appointments, and provide better customer service.
As part of this initiative, WVU Healthcare is striving to better connect patients and referring providers to appropriate services with just one phone call. To maximize operational efficiency and increase customer satisfaction, leaders are looking to decentralized call centers and incorporating them with the existing centralized call center for WVU Healthcare. Cheat Lake Physicians was the first clinic to successfully move to the current model, and planning is underway to incorporate the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center in the near future.
WVU Healthcare is now implementing a new service called patient call manager (PCM). With the goal of reducing the number of patients who are readmitted and increasing patient satisfaction, PCM nurses call patients within 48 hours of their discharge. The staff members have a set of questions they ask patients, and are trained to recognize symptoms and conditions that may require further medical attention.
PCM is a new effort, and nurses are currently connecting with 50-60 percent of patients within 48 hours of discharge. The goal is to reach 70-80 percent of patients. Care teams are able to use the information collected during PCM calls to improve the overall inpatient experience.
Another WVU Healthcare initiative regarding communication is the addition of CallMiner, a software program that records and analyzes conversations in order to improve performance. This will help assure the quality of communications across many departments.
Did You Know?
Close to 32,000 WVU Healthcare patients have signed up for MyWVUChart – a free, easy and secure online vehicle that allows patients to view their health information and communicate with their healthcare team.
The ELG – Executive Leadership Group – includes Bruce McClymonds, president and CEO, WVUH; Judie Charlton, MD, CMO, WVU Healthcare; and Arthur Ross, MD, MBA, dean, WVU School of Medicine.
The ELG Update is being produced by this group to keep WVU School of Medicine faculty and residents, and WVU Healthcare leaders better informed about what’s happening on our campus and beyond. This electronic publication is being sent to you about twice a month. We welcome your feedback.