A Call to Action from WCMS Association’s Board of Directors to our membership: Physicians, patients, and the public at-large are encouraged to ask their questions about HCA buyout of Mission

August 3, 2018

 

WCMS’ mission is to be the physicians’ voice advocating for the health of the physician, the patient, and the community. We aim to be a dynamic community of physicians and providers dedicated to a healthy vibrant Western North Carolina. Based on this premise, the changes coming to healthcare in the region with the proposed sale of Mission Health to the HCA is a call to engagement for our membership and the entire community.

On March 21, 2018, Mission Health announced it was entering negotiations to sell itself to Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare Inc., the country’s largest for-profit hospital operator.

Mission Health is a not-for-profit institution that operates 6 hospitals around Western North Carolina and in the past few years has developed a major health network in Western North Carolina that puts it at the forefront of the health of the community. Mission, as a not-for-profit institution, is at its core a community institution that has fiduciary responsibility to the community, that responds to the community, and whose decisions should always have as their initial premise whether the community will benefit and improve in some ways from that decision. It is the major referral hospital in the region. It is precisely because of that responsibility and dependence that no question from any sector of the community should be thought of as too simple to be asked or should remain unanswered by either Mission, the HCA, and the Regulatory government agencies whose duties are to scrutinize and in the end approve the deal before it goes forward.

Because of its varied membership and core vision, WCMS finds itself in the unique position to ask questions that may have the most impact on the health of the community. We encourage our membership, patients and the community-at-large to ask questions. 

On behalf of its membership, WCMS will be submitting the following two questions to Mission Health:

  • One of the concerns at the forefront of WCMS membership is whether there will be a commitment by the Mission-HCA hospital system to fully engage in public and preventative health (apart from the work of the Dogwood Foundation). What will be the legacy of this deal for our region’s public health and preventative health services?
  • What will happen to debt-relief programs for physicians?

You can submit your own questions to Mission Health on the Mission Health Forward page. Before submitting your questions, WCMS advises that you first review the information on Mission’s website about the HCA sale, at https://missionhealthforward.org/ . Also review the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at  https://missionhealthforward.org/faqs/.  If you experience any difficulties with this process, please contact miriam@mywcms.org so that we can advocate on your behalf.

 

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Raymond Thertulien, MD

President, WCMS

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