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H&W News 4/26/12

Bay Medical Center Joins Sacred Heart Under Joint Venture Agreement
Sacred Heart Health System, Inc. and LHP Hospital Group, Inc.  (LHP)  finalized a 40-year lease and asset purchase agreement to form a joint venture that will lease and operate Bay Medical Center.  As a result of the joint venture, Bay Medical will be able to retire all of its debt and begin the new joint venture debt-free. In addition, the joint venture will continue to follow the charity care policy of Bay Medical. 
 The joint venture’s governing board will have equal representation from LHP and Sacred Heart, and a local Board of Trustees composed of physicians and community leaders will oversee day-to-day decisions. All employees will become employees of an affiliate of LHP where their tenure and PTO will be recognized.  “We are excited to begin moving forward with LHP and Sacred Heart,” says Bay Medical President and CEO, Steve Johnson.  “This agreement is providing the best possible solution to aid Bay Medical financially, while still allowing us to provide the necessary charity care to the community and preserving our roots as our community’s hospital.  The benefits of being part of Sacred Heart’s Northwest Florida network will have a tremendous positive impact on our operations and will benefit patients across the region.” “Sacred Heart and LHP are thrilled to begin a new era of serving Bay County,” said Susan Davis, interim CEO of Sacred Heart Health System. “We look forward to working with Bay Medical’s physicians and staff to provide the best possible care to the entire community. We’re ready to start the process of aligning our values and vision with Bay Medical’s mission and plans for the future of healthcare.”

Gulf Breeze Hospital Named One of Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals
Gulf Breeze Hospital was announced as one of Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals, a study that recognizes facilities that deliver higher quality and more efficient care than other hospitals of similar size or teaching status. The Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals study uses objective research and independent public data to recognize the best U.S. hospitals. Hospitals do not apply and winners do not pay to market this honor. The study evaluates hospitals on measures of overall organization performance, including patient care, operational efficiency, and financial stability. The study cited an analysis of Medicare inpatients over one year, and showcased the results that would be achieved if all hospitals performed at the same level as the 100 Top Hospitals award winners: more than 186,000 additional lives could be saved, approximately 56,000 additional patients could be complication-free, more than $4.3 billion could be saved, and the average patient stay would decrease by nearly half a day. “This is an honor about which our entire region can be proud,” said Bob Harriman, senior vice president of Baptist Health Care and administrator of Gulf Breeze Hospital and the Andrews Institute. “It is external validation of our focus on quality, patient safety, stewardship of scarce resources and commitment to the Baptist Health Care Mission and our community.” The Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals study evaluates performance in 10 areas: mortality; medical complications; patient safety; average patient stay; expenses; profitability; patient satisfaction; adherence to clinical standards of care; post-discharge mortality; and readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure, and pneumonia. The study has been conducted annually since 1993. 

To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, Thomson Reuters researchers evaluated 2,886 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals. They used public information — Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. The winning hospitals were announced in the April 16 edition of “Modern Healthcare” magazine. To learn more about the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals and see the full winners list, visit 100tophospitals.com.

Sacred Heart Hospital First to Offer Treatment to Prevent Esophageal Cancer
Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola is now offering an outpatient treatment that destroys pre-cancerous tissue in the lining of the esophagus, a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. This pre-cancerous condition affects one to two million adults in the United States each year. The procedure uses endoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy with the HALO system to rapidly remove a very thin layer of diseased tissue by inserting a small catheter into the throat. It is performed in an outpatient setting, without incisions, and takes less than 30 minutes on average. “The main purpose of the ablation procedure is to ablate, or remove the abnormal lining of the esophageal,” says Dr. Roger Orth, a board-certified gastroenterologist with Gastroenterology Associates. “The tissue then regenerates and normal tissue grows back. This eliminates or markedly reduces the chances of cancer developing. Data from studies shows that the treatment is highly effective. In fact, it looks very promising.” Barrett’s disease occurs when the esophagus is chronically exposed to gastric contents of the stomach caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD.  With prolonged acid exposure, normal cells in the esophagus can undergo a genetic change making them vulnerable to further changes that can lead to cancer. Individuals with Barrett’s esophagus have a 40 to 130 times higher incidence of developing esophageal cancer than those without the condition. Esophageal cancer is presently the fastest growing form of cancer in the United States. For a person with Barrett’s disease, the risk of developing esophageal cancer is similar to the risk of developing colon cancer for patients who have a colon polyp. However, unlike a colon polyp that is removed immediately upon diagnosis through a colonoscopy, prior to the availability of the HALO System, the standard treatment for Barrett’s disease was “watchful waiting,” or surveillance, to monitor the progression of the disease. According to Dr. Orth esophageal cancer is often incurable because the disease is frequently discovered in the advanced stages. Esophageal cancer has a five-year patient survival rate of just 16 percent. “It usually starts with GERD, which can cause Barrett’s disease, which can lead to esophageal cancer,” says Dr. Orth. “That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment for symptoms of GERD, the most common being heartburn.”  For more information or to receive a brochure on Barrett’s esophagus and the HALO Ablation Technology, call Sacred Heart at 416-1600 or visit sacred-heart.org.

People on the Move – Rachel Brown, M.D.
Dr. Rachel Brown, M.D., board certified rheumatologist with Baptist Medical Group and the Andrews Institute of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, was recently named the Medical Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation’s 2012 Let’s Move Together Arthritis Walk in Pensacola. Dr. Rachel Brown (formally Dr. Rachel Holt) is fellowship-trained in rheumatology and specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions and diseases affecting the joints, muscles and bones – including rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. Dr. Rachel Brown has a passion for educating her patients and often provides free health seminars about arthritis and other common conditions. Dr. Brown currently welcomes new patients in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze. For more information about Dr. Brown and the rheumatologic care she provides her patients, please visit BaptistMedicalGroup.org or call her office directly at 437-8640.The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of 50 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability. The Arthritis Walk is the Arthritis Foundation’s nationwide team event that raises funds to fight arthritis. Pensacola’s Arthritis Walk will take place on April 28. To learn more, visit lmt.arthritis.org.

Baptist Health Care Installs Innovative Patient Beds
Baptist Health Care recently partnered with Linet Americas, a worldwide leader in health care technology, to install state-of-the-art patient beds at the Baptist and Gulf Breeze hospitals. The enhancement will provide added comfort for patients and be user-friendly for caregivers.  Based on an extensive clinical evaluation for innovative beds, Baptist Health Care selected Linet to install 300 of the top selling Eleganza 3 beds. The unique features and functions of these new beds will aid in the treatment and recovery of patients. Patient comfort is the key to a healthy recovery. The revolutionary design provides patients with increased safety without restricting comfort. “As we continue to build a better Baptist, improving patient care is our top focus,” states David Wildebrandt, administrator, Baptist Hospital. “On average a patient’s hospital stay is four days. Our patients will have a first class health care experience in a comfortable environment with modern amenities. The selection of Linet beds will also prevent unnecessary complications during our patient’s stay.” Bob Harriman administrator of Gulf Breeze Hospital explains, “The design and construction of recent Baptist Health Care construction projects emphasized our commitment to providing the latest in patient care equipment and technology. The Linet beds not only enhance patient comfort but are easier for staff to use and require simple maintenance.” For more information on Baptist Health Care services, visit eBaptistHealthCare.org or call 434-4080.