While the trust’s professional leadership remains under consideration, board chair Janice Brumit confirms that its board has filled out its inaugural complement of 14 members from WNC. After the nonprofit hires its inaugural CEO and finishes its strategic plan later this year, she estimates that other organizations will be able to apply for its grants starting in the spring of 2020 and receive money the following fall.
While returning repeatedly to messages of growth and their commitment to long-term investments in the region’s health care infrastructure, the CEO and CFO for HCA Healthcare’s new North Carolina division also responded to questions about the company’s business model, staffing and morale in a June 20 meeting with local media.
“On Wednesday, April 10, Wendell Potter, former vice president of communications for health insurance giant Cigna, will speak on Transforming Healthcare in America at two public forums in Asheville.”
At a budget work session on March 26, city CFO Barbara Whitehorn reported that Asheville can expect to receive $2.5 million in property and sales taxes from the health system in fiscal year 2019-20 — only half of the $5 million initially estimated by the Buncombe County tax office — then $5 million instead of $8 million for every year to follow.
“This may hurt some feelings, but you can no longer operate the city of Asheville like it’s the Oprah Winfrey talk show, where you get a car and you get a car,” said Council member Keith Young, referencing the daytime TV host’s famous giveaways. “As much as we love all these programs and trying to help the public good… this is the time to close the bank.”
The sale of Mission Health to HCA Healthcare means several changes to organizations and services once affiliated with Mission, including a shift of adult day care services from CarePartners to a new nonprofit, MountainCare.
Grants to help agencies providing health care services and studying better ways to deliver those services continued to flow in Western North Carolina. Some recent examples include a grant to Project Dignity for feminine supplies, funding to expand how telehealth services might be expanded in rural areas and support for a study of resources available to kidney patients.
“We’ll continue to chase our tails and flail about looking to deliver fairness and equity on par with efficiency and quality as long as profit is the driver.”
“In scope, it compares with the ill-advised, Democratically led, but bipartisan-supported effort [circa 2005] to steal Asheville’s water system.”
“The we-know-what-is-best bubble forms when officials lose touch with their own institution’s stated goals and with the community’s pulse.”
As a result of the HCA acquisition of Mission Health, proceeds of the sale created the Dogwood Health Trust, a nonprofit foundation whose purpose is “to dramatically improve the health and well-being of all people and communities in Western North Carolina,” according to a press release from the trust.
“The population of Western North Carolina will not magically change if and when this sale occurs; we will still have low- and middle-income people with no health insurance who may get hit with exorbitant medical bills.”
“The proposed money and power grab by nonprofit insiders, corporate outsiders, financial underwriters and city mothers/fathers (the crazed clique on the City Council) will undermine this fine institution and set the scene for large health care price increases.”
Josh Stein announced that his office had developed a new agreement after months of “extensive negotiations” involving Mission, HCA and the Dogwood Health Trust. He explained that the changes would strengthen HCA’s community commitments, make the DHT board more representative of its service area and ensure greater accountability for both organizations.
“No one, and I mean no one, is asking whether or not HCA will continue to serve everyone who comes to them for care.”
Major grants to Western North Carolina health care institutions and nonprofits offer promise of health benefits for vulnerable populations, while the Mountain Area Health Education Center reaches out to local government leaders to propose a collaborative effort to boost community health.
Sharing is caring, as the old saying goes. But it is also proving to be a nifty way for start-up businesses to get a piece of Asheville’s economic pie — not to mention a source of consternation for city officials struggling to regulate the growing industry. In the wake of last October’s controversy over the […]
2019 prediction: Town of Biltmore Forest will greatly expand its influence in county government by allowing trees to vote.
“Why is it self-interested for people to work to preserve their medical services and ensure diverse representation on the DHT board, but altruistic for Mission board members to anoint themselves or their predecessors?”
“There’s real fear among nonprofit organizations that not supporting the current iteration of the board could mean retaliation in the form of being cut from the $1.5 billion that DHT will control once the sale is final,” wrote Asheville-Buncombe NAACP President Carmen Ramos-Kennedy. “In order to truly build trust, citizens and organizations must feel free to speak their hearts and minds without fear.”
City and county government give details of schedule changes surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, while Mission Health releases its 2017 annual report.