Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GRMC Sponsors Town Hall Meeting on Health Insurance Marketplace

Nathan Kapke with the Iowa Insurance Division will be the featured presenter at an upcoming town hall meeting on Thursday, December 12, 6:30 p.m. in the Caulkins Room at Drake Community Library, 5th and Park Streets in downtown Grinnell.

Kapke will provide an overview on the Iowa Health Insurance Marketplace and federal requirements coming in 2014. Topics will include the requirement to have health insurance coverage, available financial assistance, and enrollment assistance. While the program will be geared toward the consumer, Kapke will also discuss employer requirements and tax credits among other topics.

Grinnell Regional Medical Center staff will also be present to answer questions and provide information on enrollment assistance through GRMC. 

Parking is available at the Drake Community Library, along Park Street, on Fifth Avenue, and in the First Presbyterian Church parking lot.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hatcher to Serve on American Hospital Association Committee on Governance

Grinnell resident Ed Hatcher began serving on the American Hospital Association Committee on Governance on Jan. 1, 2014.

The committee meets three times a year in locations across the United States. It consists of 28 members that includes nine regional members and up to 16 at-large members. Hatcher is serving as a regional member and will represent members in the upper central states of the Midwest.

Hatcher was nominated by the AHA Board of Trustees to serve on its Committee on Governance. This committee is a specialty committee of the board of trustees and is responsible for providing input into AHA policy development, leading effective involvement of hospital trustees in grassroots advocacy, providing advice on AHA’s trustee initiatives, and enhancing communication with and involvement of trustees in the AHA.

Hatcher has been involved in heathcare governance at Grinnell Regional Medical Center since 1990 when he joined the board of directors. Hatcher served on the board of directors from 1990 to 1999, and was board president 1997 and 1998. He joined the GRMC Foundation Board in 1999 and served until 2011, chairing the board in 2008. He rejoined the GRMC board of directors in 2007, and again served as president in 2011-2012.

On the state level, Hatcher served as an IHA member of the Iowa Congress of Trustees.  Since 2001 he has been serving on the IHA Council on Education and Member Services.

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare provider organizations and individuals committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations, and 42,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for healthcare leaders and is a source of information on healthcare issues and trends.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GRMC Recognized for Quality and Patient Satisfaction (again)

Grinnell Regional Medical Center earned two awards during the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health conference. GRMC was recognized by iVantage Health Analytics as a HealthStrong™ Award winner for both Excellence in Patient Satisfaction and Excellence in Quality, reflecting top quartile performance among all acute care hospitals in the nation.

Winning hospital names were released on National Rural Health Day, Nov. 21, 2013. Iowa had 63 hospitals recognized for reaching the top quartile performance status in Quality, Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction, Efficiency, and Overall Performance measures.

“Rural hospitals like Grinnell Regional Medical Center are being recognized for bringing together the best in quality of care with the home-town compassion that comes from caring for friends and neighbors. We’re very pleased to be considered a leader in America’s rural hospitals,” says Bill Menner, GRMC Board of Directors chair. 

The National Organization of State Office of Rural Health partnered with iVantage Health to create the HealthStrong Award™. The HealthStrong Awards are based on The Hospital Strength Index™, a national ratings program developed by iVantage to recognize top performing hospitals based on key metrics critical to success in the new healthcare marketplace. The Hospital Strength Index ranks all 4,400+ U.S. general acute care hospitals, including the 1,300+ Critical Access Hospitals. The Index is based on eight performance categories, measuring 56 different performance metrics. The Index offers hospital executives, trustees, and boards of directors an objective way to measure their relative performance internally and among their peers.

Small and rural hospitals play a critical role in providing efficient and effective healthcare that is comparable to its larger urban counterparts. “Rural hospitals have new and difficult demands that can only be managed with better information. The Hospital Strength Index reflects the multiple challenges of running a hospital by incorporating the measures on which the industry has worked to gain consensus and standardization,” said John Morrow, executive vice president of iVantage Health Analytics, Inc.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Quitline Iowa Offers Support for Great American Smokeout Participants

Expanded nicotine replacement therapy offers patches, gum and lozenges

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans who need help quitting smoking or using smokeless tobacco of a great incentive to enroll in Quitline Iowa before the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout® on November 21. As part of a new expanded offering that began in October, any participant who enrolls could be eligible for eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, either patches, gum or lozenges.

Iowans can take advantage of the program benefits offered by Quitline Iowa by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. The program gives participants access to a trained Quit Coach® to help them achieve freedom from tobacco. The Quit Coach® provides services including:
·      Preparing participants for their Quit Date
·      Helping develop an individualized Quitting Plan
·      Providing tips and support to live in a smoke-free environment
·      Offering advice and information on medications that may help with withdrawal symptoms
The Great American Smokeout® grew out of an event in 1974, when the editor of a Minnesota newspaper organized the first D-Day, or Don’t Smoke Day. Two years later, on November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society® successfully encouraged almost 1 million smokers to quit for the day. That event marked the first of what would become an annual event across the nation in 1977.

Tobacco users can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.quitnow.net/iowa today to enroll in the program and talk to a Quit Coach®. Registration specialists and Quit Coaches are available 24 hours a day.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Manatt Family Gift Helps GRMC Plan Urgent Care Services

Slated for Opening in 2014
A recent gift of $250,000 to Grinnell Regional Medical Center will help support the opening of an urgent care clinic in Poweshiek County.
This major donation was made by Manatts, Inc., of Brooklyn and the Manatt family. The support from the Manatt family has allowed GRMC to renovate the first floor of the Ahrens Medical Arts Building into an easily accessible urgent care clinic for convenient care.
In recognition of the gift, the clinic will be called “Manatt Family Urgent Care.”
 “The Manatt family’s gift to GRMC is allowing us to bring a much needed line of service to our patients. In addition, it has moved us closer to our fundraising goal for continued improvements and services to our community,” says Todd C. Linden, GRMC president and CEO. “We are grateful and very excited. The new clinic will ultimately enhance the entire patient experience.”
Once opened, the clinic will offer urgent care and after-hours care for non-emergency situations. Providers in the clinic will treat individuals with minor illnesses and injuries such as sore throats, colds, simple cuts, and ear infections. The clinic will also provide occupational medicine services and wound treatment. The occupational medicine and wound treatment programs are already seeing patients in the new area. The urgent care component of the clinic will open in February/March 2014.
One reason the Manatt family made this gift is because family members see a need for quality healthcare being available outside normal business hours.
“The idea of this clinic is dear to us because our employees work long, odd hours.  We want to make sure there is a facility available to them to get the care they need during off-business hours,” says Brian Manatt, president of Manatt’s, Inc., a diversified construction company specializing in asphalt paving, concrete paving, and ready-mix concrete.
“In our industry, the hours our employees put in don’t always allow them to get to a physician during normal business hours. It is hard for them to find time to take care of themselves.  This clinic will help become a solution to that problem,” he says.
In helping to provide healthcare access for their employees, the Manatt family also brings access and affordability to all area residents. According to national estimates, about 20 percent of all emergency department visits can be effectively treated in a clinic like this one.
“We are excited to partner with GRMC on this project to provide much needed services for after hours and urgent care,” says Adam Manatt, vice-president at Manatt’s, Inc.
Comprised of three examination rooms and a small laboratory area, the clinic is located in the Ahrens Medical Arts Building at GRMC and will offer services from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. With increased use, the long-term goal is to expand hours later into the evening and on Sundays.
“We are so grateful to the Manatt family for helping us create a top-notch urgent care clinic,” says Dan Agnew, GRMC board member and co-chair of GRMC’s Moving at the Speed of Life campaign. “This significant gift, along with the generosity of other donors, allows us to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time. By investing in GRMC, the Manatt family is investing in the health of the community and the region.”
Through its Moving at the Speed of Life campaign, GRMC is reimagining and creating facilities to increase access to high quality care and ensure that it is always responsive to patients needs. The campaign’s priorities include efforts to:
  • Modernize the emergency department.
  • Create an urgent care clinic.
  • Enhance chemotherapy services.
  • Purchase state-of-the-art robotic surgery equipment and a new CT scanner.
  • Renovate Postels Community Health Park to accommodate a growing wellness program.
  • Establish an endowment to help subsidize operating costs for the Grinnell Regional Mental Health Center.

The total cost to achieve these seven initiatives is $7.5 million. Although still very early in its efforts, campaign commitments to date have allowed the medical center to initiate a new chemotherapy suite, purchase a daVinci® Robotics Surgical System, and create the urgent care clinic. About $5 million is still needed to fund all the projects, with significant fund-raising efforts planned in the coming months. For more information, contact Denise Lamphier, GRMC director of communications and development, at 641-236-2589 or dlamphier@grmc.us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

GRMC Hires Insurance Enrollment Counselor

Grinnell Regional Medical Center announces the hiring of Anastasios “Tasos” Papachristoudis to serve as an insurance enrollment counselor. Papachristoudis will work with individuals to explore their health insurance options on the new Health Insurance Marketplace through healthcare.gov.
            The Affordable Care Act requires everyone legally living in the U.S. to have health insurance. If you currently do not have health insurance, you are required to sign up during open enrollment, from October 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014. You can shop for plans by phone, through a broker, at on-site enrollment locations, or at the online Health Insurance Marketplace. If you choose not to enroll for insurance, the law states that you will face tax penalties.

            Papachristoudis is available by appointment to help provide assistance with insurance enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Call at 641-236-2566 or email at tpapachristoudis@grmc.us to set up an appointment.