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August 5, 2014 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, UMMC.

The Baby Cafe is a place of encouragement and support for breastfeeding mothers. UMMC opened the room at Cary Hall recently and held an open house yesterday.

Expectant mothers, breastfeeding mothers and mothers experienced with breast feeding are invited to the room every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Baby Cafe is supported by a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping mothers who are breastfeeding.

Cary Hall is located at 211 E. Main St., Batavia.

July 23, 2014 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, UMMC.

Press release:

Definitive agreements have been finalized by Rochester Regional Health System (RRHS) for previously announced alliances with two hospitals in the greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region. United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) in Batavia, Genesee County, and Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic (CSHC) in Ontario County are both expected to join RRHS by the end of 2014.

The formal binding agreement with each hospital, which lays out the terms and conditions for the hospitals becoming a part of Rochester Regional Health System, was developed by the leadership of Rochester General Health System (RGHS) prior to joining with Unity Health System to form RRHS and the leadership of each hospital. The agreements were unanimously approved by the boards of RGHS, CHSC and UMMC late last month, and then assigned and accepted by the newly formed Rochester Regional Health System at its inaugural board meeting in July.

RRHS was officially formed on July 1 as a union of Rochester General and Unity health systems, with a mission to provide a 14-county region with seamless, highly coordinated care. By joining Rochester Regional Health System, the two hospitals will ensure that the patients in their communities will have the same high quality care they are accustomed to as well as improved access to an integrated network of nationally recognized specialty services when required. 

“As health care reform continues to cause the most sweeping changes to the hospital industry in more than a century, rural hospitals in particular are struggling throughout the U.S.,” said Mark Clement, co-CEO of Rochester Regional Health System, “Through these alliances, the forward-thinking leaders of United Memorial and Clifton Springs will enable the residents of Genesee and Ontario counties to continue to have access to and receive world-class care, right at home in their communities.”

Warren Hern, former CEO of Unity Health System and now co-CEO of the new system agreed, noting that this growing regional footprint was among the many factors that caused the Unity Board to decide nearly 18 months ago to join forces with Rochester General.

For a number of years Rochester General Health System had maintained clinical collaborations in key service lines with United Memorial and CSHC as well as other area hospitals, to help those providers better meet their communities’ needs.

“This is the logical progression of a longstanding relationship between United Memorial and Rochester General, which has enhanced our hospital services and benefited our community,” said Mark Schoell, CEO of United Memorial Medical Center. “With this permanent, comprehensive alliance, United Memorial will become the western hub of an emerging leader in integrated health services.”

“We’re excited to finalize our plans to officially join Rochester Regional Health System,” said Lewis Zulick, MD, acting CEO of Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic. “In order for us to sustain the highest standards of community health, our patients must have access to the complete continuum of high-quality care. Working closely with Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, we look forward to serving the Finger Lakes region as the leading provider of comprehensive care.”

“We’re very pleased to be moving forward with formal plans to join forces with these respected organizations,” said Robert Dobies, board chair of Rochester Regional Health System, “and extend our footprint of extraordinary quality, patient satisfaction and value to the west and east.”

June 27, 2014 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is participating in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology landmark effort, the Safe Motherhood Initiative to combat maternal mortality and morbidity in New York State.

The Safe Motherhood Initiative is working with healthcare providers and birthing facilities to develop and implement standard approaches for handling obstetric emergencies such as obstetric hemorrhage (severe bleeding), venous thromboembolism (blood clots), and severe hypertension in pregnancy (high blood pressure).

The project has one goal: to save the lives of women faced with severe complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Close to 99 percent of the nearly 250,000 live births in New York State result in the discharge of a mother and her baby. Yet, there are mothers who die or suffer severe permanent harm. New York State currently ranks 47th in the country for its maternal mortality rate.

Participation in the program is an example of United Memorial’s commitment to patient safety and quality and to the continual improvement and implementation of best practices.

The program will provide maternal safety bundles consisting of clinical education videos, algorithms, step-by-step checklists and other hands-on materials to help obstetric providers adopt uniform clinical protocols to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and management of the leading causes of maternal death.

The program is funded by Merck for Mothers, a 10-year, $500 million initiative focused on creating a world where no woman dies giving life. Additional information may be found at www.merckformothers.com.

United Memorial Medical Center provides obstetric and gynecologic physician services through the Women’s Care Centers located at 33 Chandler Ave. in Batavia and at 100 Ohio St. in Medina. In 2013, approximately 650 new babies were safely delivered at United Memorial.

June 26, 2014 - 12:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to announce that it has received UHMS (Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society) accreditation for the Wound Care Center. The accreditation is valid for two years.

Wounds that take longer than 28 days to heal can be considered chronic and may be attributed to inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins, lack of mobility, underlying illnesses, burn injuries and late effect radiation exposure; all of which can result in a lowered quality of life.

The Wound Care Center at United Memorial has achieved excellent heal rates and patients continually rank the Center above the 98th percentile for satisfaction. United Memorial’s specialized Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Outpatient Care Center is provided through a partnership with Healogics™, the world’s largest wound care management company with more than 500 hospital partners worldwide. Our multidisciplinary team addresses the needs of patients with wounds that have not responded to conventional treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is one of the many treatment options available to Wound Care Center patients at United Memorial. It uses a special chamber, frequently called a pressure chamber to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood. The air pressure within the chamber is about two and a half times greater than normal air pressure and helps the blood carry more oxygen to tissues and organs within the body. This can help wounds and infections heal more quickly. Patients are awake for the treatments, which last for 90-120 minutes at each session. Patients rest comfortably on the table and are able to read, watch television or listen to music.

Since 2001, the UHMS has offered a clinical hyperbaric medicine facility accreditation program. United Memorial demonstrated their commitment to patient care and facility safety by voluntarily participating in this program. When invited to perform an accreditation survey, the UHMS sent a team of experts to United Memorial to examine staffing and training, equipment installation, operation, and maintenance, facility and patient safety, and standards of care.

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) was formed in 1967. It is an international nonprofit association serving more than 2,000 physicians, scientists, associates and nurses from more than 50 countries in the fields of hyperbaric and dive medicine. The UHMS is an important source of scientific and medical information pertaining to hyperbaric medicine involving hyperbaric oxygen therapy and diving through its bimonthly, peer-reviewed journal, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, symposia, workshops, books and other publications.

June 6, 2014 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, dairy, UMMC.

Press release:

The Genesee County Dairy Princess honored the first baby born in Genesee County during the month of June 2014 as the Dairy Baby. Harper Grey Alexander, a baby girl, was born to Ashley and Ryan Alexander of Batavia on Tuesday, June 3, at 10:56 p.m. at United Memorial Medical Center. She weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 20-inches long. She was delivered by Patricia Beverly, CNM. Harper is the first child for the new parents and her grandparents are Russell and Deette Alexander and Steve and Pam Foster.

June is National Dairy Month. It is an annual tradition celebrating the contributions of the dairy industry and promoting nutrient-rich dairy foods.

The Genesee County Dairy Princess, Elba High School junior Kayla Wormuth, and the 4H Dairy Program organizer Tess Zuber, presented the first baby born in June with a basket of dairy products including flavored milks, product coupons, cheeses from Yancey’s Fancy, and a number of other infant items.

 

May 14, 2014 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, UMMC.

Press release:

Treating stroke quickly and effectively can mean the difference between life and death; a complete recovery or a lifetime of disability. United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to announce that it has received designation as a Stroke Center from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). By meeting the specific and stringent criteria established by the State, this designation is a testament to the strength of collaboration between United Memorial’s stroke program and emergency medicine, and to the excellence of the entire stroke team.

"Speed of treatment for stroke is critical. As a Stroke Center, United Memorial has demonstrated that from the time a patient arrives in an ambulance, we are able to evaluate and treat them within minutes," said CEO Mark C. Schoell. "When clot-busting drugs are given intravenously to patients within three hours of stroke symptom onset, it has been shown to significantly reduce the number of negative outcomes in stroke. This eliminates the need to drive to a larger, urban facility for initial treatment, and saves precious minutes.”

This designation is the result of a great deal of commitment and effort on the part of many individuals at United Memorial to align policies and procedures with best practice models. United Memorial’s application for designation was approved by the Public Health and Planning Council. The Department of Health’s on-site visit found no deficiencies and validated that the hospital is fully prepared to operate as a Stroke Center.

As a Stroke Center, United Memorial will continue to improve the quality of care available to stroke patients and to implement best practice standards. United Memorial continues to take pride in our on-going efforts to provide “quality care, right at home.”

How can you tell if someone is having a stroke? Use the F.A.S.T. test: Face - Ask the person to smile; does one side of the face droop? Arms - Ask the person to raise both arms; does one arm drift downward? Speech - Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange? Time - If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

May 9, 2014 - 2:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in UMMC, Announcements.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center announced that it has received AABB accreditation for Transfusion Activities (Blood Bank Services). The accreditation is valid for two years. Formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks, the AABB is an international not-for-profit accrediting association.

This accreditation, the highest any blood bank or transfusion service can achieve, is not usually pursued by smaller, rural hospitals. To meet the rigorous requirements of the AABB, United Memorial reworked all policies and procedures related to Transfusion Activities and worked closely with nursing units and the medical staff.

Accreditation follows an intensive on-site assessment by specially trained AABB assessors and establishes that the level of technical and administrative performance within the facility meets or exceeds the standards set by AABB. By successfully meeting the requirements, United Memorial joins other facilities located throughout the United States and around the world that also have earned AABB Accreditation.

“The AABB’s Accreditation procedures are voluntary,” Mark C. Schoell, CEO of United Memorial explained. “United Memorial sought AABB Accreditation because this program assists hospitals in achieving excellence by promoting a level of professional and technical expertise that contributes to quality performance and patient safety.”

AABB’s Accreditation Program contributes to the quality and safety of collecting, processing, testing, distributing and administering blood and cellular therapy products. The Accreditation Program assesses the quality and operational systems in place within a facility. The basis for assessment is compliance with AABB standards, Code of Federal Regulations and other federal guidance documents.

The AABB Accreditation program has been recognized by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua). In June 1995, AABB was granted “deemed status” as an accrediting organization under the clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA ’88) program.  This granting of “deemed status” indicates that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid program (CMS) has found the AABB accreditation process to provide reasonable assurance that the facilities accredited by it meet or exceed the conditions required by federal law and regulations.

May 8, 2014 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and the Genesee County War Memorial Committee will hold a special dedication ceremony for the Genesee County Veterans’ Memorial at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia.

In the early 1950’s Genesee Memorial Hospital was designated as the Genesee County War Memorial for wars fought in the 20th Century. A monument was placed near the entrance of hospital at 127 North St. that listed all the names of the men and women from Genesee County who died in service to their country during the two World Wars. Plaques for the Korean and Vietnam Wars were subsequently added to the monument.

The expansion and renovation of the hospital at North Street from 2009-2010, required moving the original 1950’s monument to a new location on the campus. The monument was disassembled and the white metal and aluminum plaques were carefully stored. The stone, made of a composite material, could not be salvaged due to extensive damage from the elements.

Hospital administrators met with representatives from Genesee County Veterans groups to discuss the condition of the monument and where to place it following the completion of construction. During this time, observances for Memorial and Veterans’ Days were moved to the Bank Street Campus. Centrally located Downtown, and out of the way of traffic and construction, attendance at the services on Bank Street increased substantially.

The War Memorial Committee, made up of veterans, requested that the new monument be placed at the Bank Street campus. United Memorial, honored to serve as the Genesee County War Memorial, agreed to the new location at the corner of Bank and Main streets. The Hospital also pledged to give funds, originally allocated for moving the monument during the construction project, to the committee to be used toward the new monument.

In November 2011, the veterans held a special ceremony to inter the original plaques in a vault below where the new monument was to be constructed. There is an engraved granite marker identifying its location at the site. To raise the additional funds necessary for the monument, the veterans solicited for donations and sold granite pavers that could be engraved with any veteran’s name, rank and military branch. The pavers will be permanently placed near the monument when the site work and landscaping are completed following the dedication. This will mark the culmination of a nearly five-year-long project to replace the original monument.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the dedication ceremony on May 17th. Following the ceremony, there will be a reception with light refreshments.

March 4, 2014 - 2:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, UMMC.
Event Date and Time: 
March 13, 2014 -
6:30pm to 7:30pm

At 6:30 p.m. on March 13, United Memorial Medical Center will host a free community health talk with Andrea Zucchiatti, M.D., in the Cary Hall Medical Library, 211 E. Main St., Batavia. The subject is thyroid and parathyroid disease.

March 4, 2014 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, UMMC.

United Memorial is pleased to announce a new community outreach program called “Ask a Nurse.”

Ask a Nurse will be held on the first Tuesday of each month from 9 -11 a.m. in the Jerome Center Lobby at 16 Bank St., Batavia, and on the third Tuesday of each month from 9-11 a.m. in the main lobby of the hospital at 127 North St., Batavia.

A registered nurse will be present during these times to answer health-related questions, check blood pressures, review medications, and provide diabetes risk assessments. The program is free and open to the public on a walk-in basis. No appointments are necessary.

Both the Jerome Center and United Memorial Medical Center are handicap accessible and offer convenient parking near the main entrances.

February 27, 2014 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, UMMC.

Genesee County's only hospital will become a fully integrated affiliate of Rochester General Hospital, according to an announcement issued today.

RGH said it has reached an agreement to formalize "a comprehensive partnership."

“Even given our sound financial position today, changes in health care will continue to negatively impact independent rural health care providers,” stated Mark Schoell, CEO, United Memorial Medical Center. “The leadership of United Memorial remains committed to providing the best for our patients, and this expanded relationship will strengthen the future of health care in Genesee County.”

Here's the rest of the press release:

The hospital’s affiliation with RGHS will lead to a continued expansion of health care services in Batavia and on-site at United Memorial, and over time will result in fewer Genesee County residents needing to leave their community for vital health care. United Memorial will maintain its name and a local board, and will continue its longstanding tradition of providing a full range of medical and acute care services in Batavia after the affiliation is formalized.

The announcement today mirrors a trend among successful hospitals and health care systems nationwide. Community hospitals continue to be impacted by changes in the business of health care, and few have the size and scale necessary to support wide breadth of specialized services and technology required today. System affiliations address the economic realities that community hospitals face with health care reform, while ensuring patients have immediate and convenient access to a full range of primary and secondary services locally and a gateway to the best clinical care available when more highly specialized care and technology – like cardiac surgery, stroke services, neurosurgery, and other complex services – are required.

“Progressive and forward-thinking rural hospital management teams and boards like United Memorial’s continue to recognize the value in partnering with larger systems, to ensure their patients have access to a full range of highly specialized technology and physician expertise,” said Mark C. Clement, president and CEO of RGHS. “This partnership will enable the residents of Genesee County to continue to have access to and receive world-class care, right at home here at United Memorial.”

The two health care institutions are no strangers to each other, having collaborated in the areas of Cardiology, Pathology, Surgery, Urology and Gastroenterology since 2008, and most recently partnered to open a Cancer & Infusion Center at United Memorial. Rochester General and United Memorial have served residents in their respective communities for more than a century.

In making its decision to affiliate with RGHS, the United Memorial board cited the system’s longstanding focus on high-quality patient care and safety, its expertise in clinical integration, its comprehensive medical and surgical specialties that will enhance existing services available in the Batavia community, and its successful track record of collaboration with smaller acute care hospitals and physicians.

“We are creating a health care system that will serve as the future model that helps communities get healthy and stay healthy” Clement said. “We’re creating true alignment of processes and providing full access to life-saving services and exceptional patient care, no matter where you live or through which system-wide door you enter. We are committed to expanding services at United Memorial, which will serve as the western hub for all of Rochester General Health System’s services.”

RGHS operates the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute, recognized as the best in cardiac care in New York for four consecutive years by Delta CareChex quality rating group, and is the only area health system to be nationally rated by SDI – a premier health care analytics firm – as a TOP 100 Integrated Health Network each year since 2007. Integrated care networks are consistently recognized for delivering higher levels of quality, service, patient safety and efficiency. These are important factors, made even more so, as the government and insurers increasingly tie reimbursement to quality, safety, efficiency and the health of a defined patient population.

Leadership teams from both organizations will work closely together to create a formal affiliation and integration plan and to complete the required regulatory approval process, which is expected to take three to six months.

This affiliation with United Memorial aligns with and is complementary to RGHS’ current merger plans with Unity Health System. United Memorial would bring another high-quality, integrated hospital into the planned new system, enabling it to offer convenient access to exceptional, high-value care to more than a million patients throughout Monroe, Genesee, Ontario and Wayne counties.

January 3, 2014 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center welcomed the first baby born within Genesee County in the New Year, 2014. Aliyah Ann Miller, a baby girl, was born to Rachel Pitz and Carl Miller of Lancaster, NY, on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at 6:43 p.m. at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. Aliyah is the second daughter for the family. Baby Aliyah weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 inches long. She was delivered by John C. Jaeger, MD.

“We chose United Memorial because of the great relationship we have with Dr. Jaeger. He delivered my first baby,” stated Ms. Pitz. “And, the nurses have been wonderful.”

The new mother is employed at Logistic Dynamics in Williamsville and Mr. Miller works for ECH Recovery & Associates in Lancaster.

As the New Year’s baby, Aliyah and her parents received a $200 gift card to a local department store and an engraved feeding spoon from United Memorial and a gift basket from the Maternity Unit staff.

There were 622 babies delivered at United Memorial in 2013.

December 31, 2013 - 5:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Health Care, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and MVP Health Care® are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement which will allow United Memorial to be included as a network facility for MVP health insurance products purchased through the New York State of Health Exchange. The agreement was reached today, December 31st and will go into effect tomorrow, January 1, 2014.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, people who do not have health insurance through their job, or cannot afford the plan offered by their employer, now can use the “Healthcare Exchange” or “Marketplace” to compare plans and sign up. In New York State, residents are provided a list of insurance companies and plans to select from, based on their county of residence.

“We greatly appreciate the patience and understanding of our community as we are working to address the sweeping changes brought on by healthcare reform,” stated United Memorial’s CEO Mark C. Schoell. “I am pleased that we were able to bring the negotiation with MVP Health Care to a successful conclusion.”

Matthew MacKinnon, vice president, Network Operations, MVP Health Care said, “We are happy that United Memorial Medical Center is a participating provider for MVP products in Genesee County, including new Exchange coverage, and we look forward to continuing to serve residents of the Batavia area.”

December 20, 2013 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Health Care, UMMC, MVP.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center, the only acute care hospital in Genesee County, has been excluded as an “in network” provider by the insurance company MVP for its Healthcare Exchange insurance products following several attempts by United Memorial to negotiate a reimbursement rate structure. It is important to note that this only pertains to the MVP plans available on the Exchange. United Memorial does have contractual agreements with MVP for all of their other commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid insurance products.

Adding to the confusion for individuals when selecting a plan, is that many Genesee County physicians are listed as part of the MVP network; including several United Memorial Medical Center employed physicians, while the hospital is not included as a facility.

“We are disappointed that our efforts to be included in the MVP network of providers have not been successful,” said Mark C. Schoell, CEO of United Memorial. “We will continue to work with MVP to bring this situation to positive conclusion.”

As part of the Affordable Care Act, people who do not have health insurance through their job, or cannot afford the plan offered by their employer, can use the “Healthcare Exchange” or “Marketplace” to compare plans and sign up. In New York State, residents are provided a list of insurance companies and plans to select from, based on their county of residence. There are several companies and a range of options available on the Web site: nystateofhealth.ny.gov. With the exception of MVP, United Memorial has contractual agreements with all insurance companies listed on the site for Genesee County. Those contracts include: Fidelis, Independent Health, Blue Cross of Western New York, and Univera. People have until December 23rd to purchase a plan through the exchange in order to have seamless healthcare coverage beginning January 1st.

Individuals in Genesee County, who are purchasing their healthcare insurance through the exchange, should make sure that their physicians and hospital facility are both included in the insurance company’s network. If not, their care may be viewed as out-of-network, and most of the exchange plans do not cover out-of-network care. Application counsellors are available at United Memorial to assist with process of signing up for healthcare insurance coverage and to answer questions. Please call (585) 344-5428 with any concerns.

United Memorial has never turned anyone away from receiving the care they need based on their ability to pay and remains committed to providing quality care to the residents of our region.

Previously: Individuals who buy MVP health plans through new exchange reportedly not covered in Genesee County

NOTE: If you purchased MVP through the exchange (and only through the exchange), we might want to talk with you about your experience. E-mail howard@thebatavian.com

December 6, 2013 - 1:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Health Care, UMMC, Obamacare.

Customers signing up for an MVP health insurance plan through the new government-run exchange might find they can't get treatment from doctors in Genesee County.

A local healthcare provider was alerted to the potential hole in coverage and he said he's confirmed it with MVP representatives.

The lack of local coverage arose after UMMC declined to sign a reimbursement agreement with MVP.

The situation affects only customers who sign up for individual plans through the exchange. People who get any type of group coverage through MVP or who get MVP health insurance directly from the company (rather than through the exchange) are not affected.

An MVP spokesman has not responded to a request for an interview.

Jeff Baldick, at Genesee Orthopedic, alerted The Batavian to the hole in coverage and said he has spoken directly with MVP about the situation and confirmed with the insurance provider that his patients who purchased insurance from MVP through the exchange will not be covered.

He said MVP told him that it is not providing coverage for any patient in Genesee County who purchased insurance through the exchange.

According to Bob Chiavetta, CFO for UMMC, the hospital was presented with a take-it-or-leave-it reimbursement plan by MVP some months ago for patients covered by insurance through the exchange.

The hospital rejected the reimbursement agreement because the health care reimbursements are significantly lower than those of other insurance providers, even lower than what MVP reimburses for group coverage and Medicaid.

So while the hospital continues -- as it alway has -- to accept patients covered by these other MVP products, it has no agreement with MVP for reimbursements of patients who purchased MVP insurance through the exchange.

"We communicated to them that those rates were not adequate," Chiavetta said. "They told us they were trying to work on their network and would get back to us, but we never heard anything back from them. We never received a letter or any written communication that we were being excluded. Then a week and a half to two weeks ago, we started hearing from patients that we were not listed as a network provider. When we heard that, we spoke with them and we're trying to work through something."

Chiavetta is hopeful an agreement can be reached soon with MVP to provide adequate reimbursements for patients who purchase MVP insurance through the exchange.

MVP is the only insurance provider, Chiavetta said, who significantly lowered reimbursements for patients coming through the exchange. All of the other insurers, he said, provide reimbursements to the hospital that are consistent with policies obtained outside the exchange.

It was Chiavetta's understanding that MVP was providing coverage on the exchange product to patients in Genesee County up to the point the patient might get referred to UMMC, but Baldick said MVP told him explicitly that no Genesee County patients would be covered because any doctor's office visit could potentially result in a referral to the local hospital.

Across the board, Chiavetta said, the Affordable Health Care Act, is leading to lower reimbursement rates for the hospital, but that won't affect the quality of care at UMMC.

He's more concerned, he said, about the higher out-of-pocket expenses some patients might encounter if they purchase health insurance through the exchange.

The lower premium plans have deductibles as high as $6,500 annually.

He said people planning to purchase health insurance through the exchange should look very closely at those plans and ensure they are adequate to meet their needs. Just because a monthly premium is as low as $200 doesn't mean it's the right plan for an individual.

"I can see where it's attractive to them," Chiavetta said. "The only thing I would say is for people who are actively looking for insurance on the exchange is be very aware of what the cost is going to be. A lot of people are gravitating toward the lower premium plans, but that's a risk. It doesn't take much of an illness to cost a lot of money.

"A product for $200 a month might work great for some, but they might be better off paying more if they picked a higher plan. You've got to take your own health care needs into account."

The hospital has three people going through training next week on how to help people navigate the exchange.

"As patients come to us who are uninsured, just as we do now, we will help them understand financial assistance, Medicaid, and we will add to that help in getting through the exchange and selecting a health care product that is out there that is appropriate for them," Chiavetta said.

Anyone with questions now are welcome to call Sue Brown, director of patient financial services, at (585) 344-5428.

October 4, 2013 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center honored the years of service of more than 100 employees at its annual recognition dinner on Oct. 2 at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia. Employees were recognized for their years of employment at five-year milestones.

Aida Nogueira and Laurentina Rosa, both Environmental Services technicians, achieved the 45-year milestone. Pamela Boshart-Lynch RN BSN, director of Education, Healthy Living and Cardiac Rehab Services was honored for 40 years of dedicated service along with Elizabeth Brian of the Emergency Department and Judy Yager, RN of the Ambulatory Surgery Unit. Celebrating 35 years were Ann Arent and Julie Kelsey from Medical Records, Mary Bibler and Marie Lawrence of the Laboratory Department, and Pamela Kader of Environmental Services.

Honored for 30 years of service included Linda Buckel RN and Nancy Johnson RN, Emergency Department; Mary Gerych RN, Intensive Care Unit; Kathleen Green RN and Lori Hebdon RN, Obstetrics; Cheryl LoVerdi, Finance manager; Ed Nogueira, Facilities Management; and Susan Reed, Radiology.

Achieving 25 years were Donna Clark, Central Supply; Alanna Dailey RN and Debra Langford, Nursery; Lori Donley, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit; Vicki Downs and Deborah Johnson, Supply Chain Management; Donna Keough RN, Ambulatory Surgery Unit; Hope Knapp and Todd Wilkes RN, Surgery; Mary Lama RN BSN, 3rd Floor Medical/ Surgical Unit Clinical Care Coordinator; Rebecca Schrader, Intensive Care Unit; Joann Shaffer, Medical Records; Peggy Stevens, Environmental Services; Anna Sunderland, Food Services; and Donna Weibel, Risk Management.


Those celebrating 20 years of service include Bonnie Bezon RN, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department; Sandra Boryczka, Laboratory; Chad Caccamise, Information Services; Louis Schrauger, Environmental Services; Susan Wlazlak, Human Resources; and Cindy Zarcone RN; 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit.

There were 32 employees who received recognition for five, 10 and 15 years of service. Each employee received dinner for themselves and a guest, flowers and a gift certificate. Employees with 25 years or more of service were honored individually by their manager and senior leader with a presentation highlighting their contributions.

September 30, 2013 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, UMMC.
Event Date and Time: 
October 22, 2013 -
3:00pm to 8:00pm

United Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Services Partnership will provide free health screenings to residents of Genesee County, between the ages of 40 and 64 with no insurance or high deductibles, from 3 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia. Appointments are necessary for some of the screenings.

September 11, 2013 - 9:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, UMMC.

UMMC announced this evening that its urgent care facility in Le Roy will reopen at 11 a.m., Monday.

The facility closed at the beginning of June. At the time, UMMC officials said it would be closed for two weeks because of a plumbing problem.

In tonight's announcement, officials said, "The service was suspended for several weeks following the unexpected absence of two care providers, making it impossible to support both the Le Roy and Batavia sites concurrently. "

The new hours will be 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.

From UMMC's statement:

United Memorial continues to be committed to providing care for the Le Roy community. Credentialing new providers with the insurance companies proved to be a lengthy process and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our loyal patients. United Memorial Medical Center has proudly provided healthcare services to the residents of Le Roy for several decades. Three years ago, the first Urgent Care Center in Genesee County was opened in Le Roy by United Memorial. Both the Urgent Care Center in Le Roy and the Urgent Care Center at 16 Bank St., Batavia, have been fully accredited by the Joint Commission.

UMMC is a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by start-up urgent care provider, Insource, with offices in City Centre. The suit alleges that UMMC has engaged in unfair business practices to try and shut Insource out of the Genesee County market.

Previously: Insource and UMMC appear to be classic case of the disruptor vs. the disrupted

August 1, 2013 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Health Care, UMMC, Insource Urgent Care.

Glossary

Disruptive Innovation: An innovation through technology or process that takes root in an underserved portion of the market to create new business opportunities.

Incumbent: The market-leading business in an industry.

Unmet Need: When a business planner identifies a hole in the marketplace, where consumers -- either consciously or unconsciously -- have a need that a new product or service can meet.

Job to be Done: Much like an unmet need, the jobs-to-be-done metaphor helps a business planner target a market segment for a new product or service. The job-to-be-done metaphor is based on the idea that customers don't really buy a product or service, they hire the product or service to help with a specific task they want to accomplish.

Clayton  Christensen: Harvard Business School professor and creator of the term "disruptive innovation." His groundbreaking works are "Innovator's Dilemma" and "Innovator's Solution." He's also written a book on innovation in health care, "The Innovator's Prescription."

From the perspective of the folks who run Insource Urgent Care in Downtown Batavia, their first-of-its-kind clinic is apparently seen as a competitive threat by the executives at United Memorial Medical Center.

A threat that must be crushed.

If their perception is correct, it highlights the fear disruptive innovators can strike in the hearts of incumbent businesses, especially if that business has enjoyed a monopoly position in the market.

Since UMMC officials are not talking about the tensions between Insource and UMMC, we only have the perspective of Insource's owners, which they're willing to discuss, and is also part of a federal anti-trust suit filed by Insource on June 25.

The suit alleges that UMMC conspired with HealthNow, the region's BlueCross BlueShield franchise, to eradicate the hosptial's pesky new competitor.

UMMC, according to the lawsuit, has even tried to muscle other health care providers in the county in an effort to deny Insource the partners it needs to deliver its services.

HealthNow is the dominant health insurance company in Western New York and UMMC has held a monopoly position for emergency and hospital care in Genesee County since the year 2000 merger of Genesee Memorial and St. Jerome's.

Melissa Marsocci, VP of operations for Insource, who is a native of Batavia and well versed in the literature of disruptive innovation, said she wasn't surprised by the response from UMMC to the arrival of her new company. She wishes it had been different, that cooperation rather than competition would have been the watchword, but that's not the case.

"Being from here and knowing the corporate culture over there, I knew we weren't going to be welcomed with open arms," Marsocci said. "Whenever I go anywhere else (to open a clinic), I don't know that, but here, we're just little bugs to them."

Insource is a company designed around innovation. It's model uses more efficient processes for delivering patient care and employs technology to reduce costs while improving quality.

Insource is also willing and able to deliver what it believes is world-class care while accepting lower profit margins per patient.

The result, according to Marsocci, is faster and easier access to top specialists and lower costs for uninsured patients.

The Lawsuit

Key points raised in Insource Development Services of Batavia, LLC. vs. HealthNow New York, Inc. and United Memorial Medical Center.
  • UMMC operates two urgent care clinics, one at St. Jerome's and one in Le Roy. The suit alleges these clinics keep irregular hours and are frequently closed.
  • Services offered by these clinics are allegedly limited and patients are frequently referred to UMMC's emergency room.
  • HealthNow allegedly entered into discussions with Insource two years ago about opening an urgent care clinic in Batavia and encouraged Insource to take on the project. When Insource and HealthNow -- which covers 50 percent of the insured in Genesee County -- were about to agree to terms for rates, the suit alleges, HealthNow broke off communications unexpectedly and without explanation.
  • The suit alleges ER care at UMMC costs at least $1,500, below the now-common high-deductable plan of $3,000, and Insource provides the same service for $150.
  • The suit alleges that HealthNow and UMMC entered into an agreement to restrict competition in Genesee County.
  • UMMC allegedly used anti-competitive practices to drive Lakeside's urgent care clinic out of Le Roy.
  • UMMC has used "agents" to contact healthcare providers in Genesee County to discourage their cooperation with Insource.
  • Insource alleges that UMMC is acting to protect its monopoly position in Genesee County.

In its lawsuit, Insource claims a typical emergency room visit to UMMC costs at least $1,500. The same service through Insource would cost $150.

"I think people deserve a choice," Marsocci said. "Isn't free enterprise what America is all about? Competition is good. It ups the quality, or should, so why not? Why should United Memorial have a monopoly?"

The typical urgent care model is kind of like a doc-in-the-box. The clinics are usually only opened in high-volume communities -- such as well-populated suburbs or densely populated urban neighborhoods. They treat minor injuries and illnesses and do very little in the way of referrals. They're not the place to go if you're seriously ill.

Insource can provide health care as basic as a physical for a high school athlete, up to arranging a consultation with a heart surgeon.

In other words, from a patient perspective, the company can do everything UMMC does, but without the overhead.

When a business planner with an eye toward disruptive innovation looks at a potential opportunity, the planner will try to identify an unmet need and a job to be done.

The unmet need in Genesee County, according to Marsocci, is the lack of top-tier specialists. It's not that they're not here, but there are fewer of them.

And, many local residents -- like it or not, it's true, notes Marsocci -- also lack faith in specialist referrals through UMMC.

This isn't a problem unique to Genesee County or UMMC. It's common in rural counties across the United States.

For the local patient who needs or wants care with a top-tier specialist, the only option until now has been to drive 30 or 40 minutes to Rochester or Buffalo.

"The care here, unfortunately, and I can say this because I've lived in Genesee County all my life, the care here has been substandard for years," Marsocci said. "I don't mean that disparagingly, but I'm saying, call a spade a spade. When I need care beyond primary care, I travel. I have been in those situations where I used a local specialist and it didn't end positively for me, and I've had those times where I was lucky. But you learn through a couple of experiences and you're not going to do it again, so I go east or west."

The job to be done, then, for Insource, is to connect patients who need specialized service with specialists without making them drive for miles and miles.

Computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, closed-circuit cameras, LCD screens and the Internet -- all the tools of telemedicine -- means those miles, and the wasted time that goes with them, disappear.

The example Marsocci used was of a patient who came to Insource in early Jully complaining of debilitating back pain.

Initially, the concern was that he had a kidney stone, but a CT scan found a growth on his spine. A surgeon and specialist in spinal problems who will soon be one of Insources subtenants was consulted using telemedicine tools. The doctor confirmed the diagnosis and told Insource to have the patient call him on his mobile phone the next day -- July 4 -- for a follow-up consultation.

Two weeks ago, the patient had surgery to remove the growth.

"If that man had gone to any other urgent care, they would not have wanted to spend any more time on him than they had to," Marsocci said. "If they didn't have access to a CT then they knew they were wasting time on him and not getting paid. They would just want to get him out the door.  He would have to go to the emergency room then, which means he's going to spend a lot of money for something we did perfectly well here."

"It's pretty exciting to say he had surgery probably before he even would have seen the spine surgeon had he went anywhere else," Marsocci added.

All of these improvements -- better access to specialists, lower costs -- just make good business sense.

"Why can't the people in this community have the same level of care as the people in Buffalo or the people in Rochester?" Marsocci asked.

The response from local doctors to Insource, even those associated with UMMC, has been uniformly positive, Marsocci said. Insource refers patients to local doctors and to UMMC on a daily basis. The goal is to get the patient the best treatment possible, and that often means local doctors and local specialists are the best resources for local patients.

And local health care providers have found Insource a valuable resource, even referring patients to Insource, she said.

If all this makes so much sense, why aren't established urgent care companies around the nation providing the same service? Why isn't UMMC?

Mark Celmer

Yesterday, Mark Celmer, president of Insource, spoke with The Batavian's news partner, WBTA, about the lawsuit. Here's what he said.

“I do find it absolutely reprehensible that any member of Genesee County that’s insured by HealthNow can travel 40 miles to Erie County and go to any of 22 urgent care sites and be fully covered for their urgent care visit, but they cannot come to the newest one on Main Street, Batavia. I find that just absolutely reprehensible.”

“I would like HealthNow to say, ‘Genesee County residents: if you want to go to the urgent care center at the Jerome Center, if you want to go the urgent care center in Le Roy, if you want to go to the emergency room at United Memorial, or if you want to go to Insource Urgent Care Center on Main Street, Godspeed, let’s get going.’ ”

As we said, we lack UMMC's perspective on this competitive climate, but we do know about the patterns of disruptive innovation.

In any classic case of disruptor vs. the disrupted, the incumbents either under-value the disruption or feel trapped by their established business model. The incumbent sees no way to extricate itself from its present business model, no matter how threatening the disruptive innovation might be.

Newspapers, for example, have found it difficult to transition to an online news model because higher profits are found in their dead tree editions. 

While it costs less to produce digital news, the revenues are also substantially lower -- The New York Times publisher once said it was like converting print dollars into digital dimes -- and profit margins are slender to nonexistent (especially if newspapers want to maintain their current newsroom cost structure). Even as readers flee from printed newspapers, incumbent publishers are loathe to go to an online-only business model.

It's very difficult for an incumbent to give up a profitable line of business in favor of a business model that means lower revenue and less profit, especially when successful models are few and far between.

Sailing ship builders couldn't do it when the steam engines came along; Detroit couldn't do it when Japanese cars hit the market; mainframe computer makers couldn't do it when personal computers were first being sold; and, Kodak couldn't do it when digital cameras became popular (and Kodak INVENTED the digital camera).

"We're trying to make sense of where everything should be -- lowering costs, improving quality, improving satisfaction, improving access," Marsocci said. "That's where we find ourselves as disruptive innovators. Nobody in the urgent care business wants to spend the amount of time that we did putting together a formal telemedicine program or the way we do things with continuity of care, having subtenant specialists in our center.

"They want the low-hanging fruit," she added. "It can be a very lucrative business, so they want to find a place in a heavy-traffic shopping plaza and just put up a center and see how many patients they can see each day and make as much money as they possibly can. Where we're really focused on what we're preaching. Continuity of care."

NOTE: Early yesterday evening, The Batavian sent an e-mail to Colleen Flynn, spokeswoman for UMMC, and outlined the nature of the article we were writing about the lawsuit and invited UMMC to comment on the topics raised in this article. The Batavian received no response to the e-mail.

July 23, 2013 - 12:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, UMMC, cancer support group.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center will host a free cancer support group on the last Thursday of each month beginning at 5 p.m. The group will meet in United Memorial’s Healthy Living Department at 211 E. Main St., Batavia.

The group will provide information and support for those who are cancer survivors or have received a cancer diagnosis. In a group setting, individuals can find a warm and caring environment to learn, laugh and heal. Members can find comfort, renewed strength, and receive hope from others who truly understand their unique story and treatment journey.

Men and women who are interested in joining the group should call Healthy Living at 344-5331 to sign up or for more information.

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