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Old 10-07-2017, 09:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
With Eastman's explosion this week, I wonder how that will impact the merged organization keeping offices in Kingsport.
The explosion has no impact.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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VA approved the merger this week, clearing the last major regulatory hurdle.

The more I learn about it, the more I like it. I am concerned on the jobs front, but if they can combine resources and offer significant behavioral health and drug benefits, maybe it will be a net positive.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 825,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
VA approved the merger this week, clearing the last major regulatory hurdle.

The more I learn about it, the more I like it. I am concerned on the jobs front, but if they can combine resources and offer significant behavioral health and drug benefits, maybe it will be a net positive.
There seems to be strong opinions on either side of the issue. I've been a strong supporter of the merger from the beginning but I also do not work in the healthcare sector. I understand the concern over jobs but looking at things from the 30,000 foot level, I don't see how this is anything but a net positive for the region. The entire business, education, and political leadership of the region wouldn't be on board with this if they anticipated it would lead to a decline in quality of life for the region.

I don't think many people understand the complexities of the COPA/Cooperative Agreement and the price controls contained therein. The threshold for charity care will be increased and there is an arbitration clause in place to ensure that no coverage providers will be shut out of the market. All of this coupled with a significant investment in resources addressing the region's opioid epidemic, and an increased role for ETSU in the system sounds like a big win for the Tri-Cities.

The biggest unanswered question is what does all this mean in terms of jobs and facilities. There will be consolidations and reorganizations but it will happen over the course of several years and most job reductions will be achieved through attrition. There will not be massive layoffs. Also, this is complete speculation on my part, but I think you will see Johnson City become the focus city for Ballad with JCMC as the region's tertiary hospital and sole Level I trauma center. The presence of Niswonger Children's and ETSU Quillen COM practically guarantees this.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerred View Post
There seems to be strong opinions on either side of the issue. I've been a strong supporter of the merger from the beginning but I also do not work in the healthcare sector. I understand the concern over jobs but looking at things from the 30,000 foot level, I don't see how this is anything but a net positive for the region. The entire business, education, and political leadership of the region wouldn't be on board with this if they anticipated it would lead to a decline in quality of life for the region.

I don't think many people understand the complexities of the COPA/Cooperative Agreement and the price controls contained therein. The threshold for charity care will be increased and there is an arbitration clause in place to ensure that no coverage providers will be shut out of the market. All of this coupled with a significant investment in resources addressing the region's opioid epidemic, and an increased role for ETSU in the system sounds like a big win for the Tri-Cities.

The biggest unanswered question is what does all this mean in terms of jobs and facilities. There will be consolidations and reorganizations but it will happen over the course of several years and most job reductions will be achieved through attrition. There will not be massive layoffs. Also, this is complete speculation on my part, but I think you will see Johnson City become the focus city for Ballad with JCMC as the region's tertiary hospital and sole Level I trauma center. The presence of Niswonger Children's and ETSU Quillen COM practically guarantees this.
The full letter from the VDH is available at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/...-agreement.pdf

It's 150 pages, but the 14 bullet points in the top are the highlights. Much of the rest of the letter is breaking details related to the 14 bullet points.

There is actually a lot of interesting information about the health of the impacted Virginia counties related to the state as a whole. As you'd expect, virtually all of the metrics in the impacted areas are much worse than the rest of the state of Virginia. I'm about halfway through the Virginia letter. I have not read the Tennessee one yet, but from what I heard, it was not as detailed.

The rural areas have plenty of concerns without the merger. To be honest, the metrics for southwest Virginia just suck. It's an area with poor health outcomes, a bad/declining economy, and does poorly on virtually any metric you can think of. My advice for people in those areas is to move to a normal area. Still, all that can be reasonably done to help out in the area should be done.

I don't see where else you'd put the HQ but Johnson City. I think this will be a big long-term win for Johnson City. I'd expect most of the higher paying corporate jobs to consolidate there over the next few years.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
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I've been against this from the beginning. I'm very concerned about the lack of local competition.

But I can see the upsides. At least the combined entity will be a non-profit org, perhaps compensating for the lack of competition. More research is a good thing. I also could see broader services being offered as redundant services are eliminated. So if Kpt loses its level 1 trauma center, maybe Ballad replaces those resources with a Burn Unit instead of sending people to Vandy.

I recently spent 10 days in the JC NICU. During that time I saw babies sent to Memphis, Nashville, and DC. So my hope is that we will see fewer transfers and more people treated locally.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
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There will be a public update on the merger tomorrow as it is the deadline that the state imposed for completing the merger. There is also a news conference planned for Friday that will hopefully answer more specifics regarding Ballad's operation.

MSHA and Wellmont to update public on merger on Wednesday
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 825,761 times
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So the news conference Friday was short on details but it was announced that a pediatric trauma center would be coming to the region (no location given, although I would be very surprised if it wasn't at JCMC) along with pediatric ER's in Kingsport and Bristol. No word on re-purposing of facilities. As far as corporate headquarters, I'm pretty sure the former MSHA headquarters in Johnson City simply switched to Ballad and operations will be run from there. Although various other support positions will probably be scattered throughout the Tri-Cities.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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At this point, I think the biggest problem is public opposition.

Like everyone else, I have concerns about costs and jobs. With that said, the previous model was not efficient, nor really sustainable indefinitely. The big, profitable hospitals are keeping the smaller rural hospitals afloat at this point.

I don’t have a strong opinion on it now, but I was previously against it. As I’ve learned more, I think it’s probably the best option that we have available in this area. There are so many redundant services and facilities that it seems better to allocate those resources better, and to quit trying to outcompete each other. We need more sophisticated options, not three urgent cares in a town of 10,000 or something. I think Ballad is the only option to get that next level of care.

I could probably name five friends and family right now that have been sent out of the area for care in the last year. If “out of the area” was thirty minutes away, that would be different, but it’s to Knoxville at a minimum. I got a Facebook message from a former coworker today about a manager that is on a transplant list. He lives in Lebanon, VA. Docs are in Knoxville. Two and a half hours each way for him. We’re so isolated anything is a major haul.

People need to give it a chance. I’d wager most of the opposition has no idea of the COPA conditions, which are fairly restrictive.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Ballad Health announces 150 job layoffs - WJHL

An announcement of 150 layoffs occurred today and press conference was held this evening. Some of the layoffs were virtually immediate - others may be more slow-rolled. Those details were not publicly provided. The layoffs were in senior management (VP and above), some directors and managers, and some line level IT staff on the legacy MSHA side. It doesn't seem like any patient or clinical care staff were impacted.

I was originally pretty profoundly against the merger. With the more I've learned about the overall situation, the more I am for it. It isn't perfect, but it as Mr. Levine pointed out today, Ballad Health is far preferable to Mission's situation over in Asheville, where they sold out to a for-profit not even based regionally and that is ultimately answerable to its shareholders. As would be expected, the Facebook commentariat was out with the pitch forks today, and the vast majority of these people have absolutely no idea of current market conditions. The press release was completely accurate.

Hopefully this will be the end of the reduction in force in the near term, and that hiring can begin in earnest in clinical care areas, where it is sorely needed.
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Gray, TN
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In a successful merger, that is where you have to cut the fat - at the VP level. It stinks for those that got cut because if we learned anything from the movie Fun with Dick and Jane, it's not like many similar jobs exist at that level.
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