Friday, November 11, 2011

Eager beaver: HCA-Health One ready to push for Memorial

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Monday is the deadline for health-care systems to bid on city-owned Memorial Health System, and for-profit HCA-HealthONE isn't waiting to herald its bid as a blessing to the community.

HCA is drooling, apparently, having even set up an HCA Memorial website. Talk about confident.

HCA REALLY wants to take over Memorial.
  • HCA REALLY wants to take over Memorial.

Friday afternoon, the company sent out a press release pointing out how it would improve health care here by taking over Memorial. The release also noted it would achieve "economics of scale for business operations." That's corporate-speak for layoffs, usually. Memorial employs roughly 4,400 people.

The city is expecting five or six bids, which will be released publicly in early December. A city task force will recommend one or two bids to City Council, which will pick one and then put it on the ballot next year for voter approval.

Anyway, just passing on this release for what it's worth:

HCA-HealthONE LLC on Monday will submit a response to the Request for a Proposal (RFP) to lease and operate Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs. A Colorado Springs City Council-appointed Task Force will evaluate all proposals to determine which hospital operator is best suited to be Memorial’s strategic partner.

Linda Kanamine, vice president of Public Affairs at HealthONE, says HealthONE’s passion for delivering clinical excellence aligns with Memorial’s tradition of quality patient care for all. “HealthONE brings many advantages Memorial doesn’t yet have, including: a wealth of clinical expertise and best demonstrated practices from across the country to improve care; local, regional and national regulatory and statutory knowledge to prepare for and implement health care reforms; economies of scale for business operations and supply purchasing to lower costs; numerous programs to benefit local communities, including health professionals education; and access to financial resources to invest in programs, technologies and facility improvements that benefit patients, employees and physicians.”

The Colorado Springs City Council voted in 2011 to solicit bids for a long-term lease of Memorial Hospital and identify a third party that would manage the hospital. A winning bid is expected to be chosen and recommended to City Council by the end of the year. It will then be up to the City Council to negotiate the long-term lease for Memorial with the winning bidder — and then send the final proposed plan to a ballot for Colorado Springs voters to approve.

Among issues raised the past year are benefits Colorado Springs residents would gain from the tax revenue HealthONE will generate for the city and county (an estimated $10 million per year), as opposed to a tax-exempt company. Another important issue is health care for the Military and their families. HealthONE honors our military and has very strong relationships with Fort Carson, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado National Guard, and active duty and retired military families in the region to provide patient care (accepting TriCare and through our Traumatic Brain Injury programs), help train military medical staff and EMS, and offer education to health and EMS professionals. We would welcome an expansion of these relationships.

“HealthONE will submit a very attractive package that focuses on what we’ve heard the people of Colorado Springs and El Paso County say is most important to the community,” Kanamine said. “We appreciate the Task Force’s hard work, time and consideration during this critically important process.” HealthONE will respect the Quiet Period requested in the RFP, which starts at 4:00 p.m. MST Mon., Nov. 14, 2011, so that the Task Force can fairly review all proposals.

For background information and HealthONE facts and figures, please visit
http://www.healthonecares.com/healthone-and-memorial-health/index.htm

About HealthONE: HealthONE is the largest health care system in the metro Denver area with more than 9,000 employees and 3,000 affiliated physicians. HealthONE hospitals have a long and trusted legacy in the densest area going back more than 130 years with St. Luke’s, more than 85 years with Presbyterian Denver, more than 105 years with Swedish and more than 60 years with Rose. The current health system was created in 1995 as a Colorado company and a joint venture between The Colorado Health Foundation and various affiliates of HCA. The Foundation grew to the second largest charitable foundation in the state and in October 2011 sold its share in HealthONE to HCA (NYSE: HCA).

HealthONE includes: The Medical Center of Aurora; North Suburban Medical Center; Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center & Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children; Rose Medical Center; Sky Ridge Medical Center; Swedish Medical Center; Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital; Centennial Medical Plaza (affiliated with The Medical Center of Aurora); Swedish Southwest ER (affiliated with Swedish Medical Center); 14 stand-alone ambulatory surgery centers; 8 occupational medicine & rehabilitation clinics; dozens of specialty clinics; two radiation oncology centers ; and AirLife-Denver, which provides critical care air and ground transportation across an eight-state region.

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