Pete's Prep: Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mission gets gobbled up

Yesterday evening, the rumors started flying that Mission Hospital was getting bought by the Tennessee-based Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). It was soon confirmed in a message from Mission to its staff and doctors. Then a press release went out.

Mission Health’s Board of Directors today announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enter into exclusive discussions to join HCA Healthcare, a Nashville, Tennessee-based company founded 50 years ago by two physicians. The Board’s unanimous decision to execute the LOI with HCA Healthcare reflects its long-term vision and commitment to preserve and expand Mission Health’s world-class quality of care within a rapidly consolidating healthcare industry.

From the Citizen-Times report:

If it goes through, the move would place Mission under the umbrella of the for-profit HCA company, which has 240,000 employees throughout its system and navigate more than 27 million annual patient encounters, a fact sheet provided by the company shows.

It is a significant move for Mission, which has been in business in some form since the late 19th century in Western North Carolina. Mission now is a seven-hospital health system that serves the 18 westernmost counties of the state including locations in Asheville, Brevard, Franklin and Marion. Mission provides care to about 1 million patients annually.

Mission employs about 11,000 people in the area.

NC school safety task force meets

In the wake of the Parkland, FL shooting, North Carolina state lawmakers set up a committee to explore and recommend ways to prevent school shootings. The committee held its first meeting yesterday in Raleigh.

One area of particular focus was mental health.  The former president of the N.C. School Psychology Association,  Jim Deni said about 1 in 7 students need mental health services.

National ratios recommend a school psychologist for every 700 students. Deni said the North Carolina ratio of one psychologist for every 2,100 students makes it impossible to meet psychological needs, which include doing threat assessments.

Republican lawmakers said they were not going to discuss gun control as part of this effort.

The committee ended the meeting by compiling a list of ideas it should study further, including allowing armed security guards who aren't police officers at schools, reviewing the mental health system and banning bump stocks.

When no legislators brought up the idea of arming teachers, several Democrats said they wanted to make it known that they're against the concept.

"I could very easily see a situation where a teacher is intimidated by a student and something goes wrong and somebody ends up dead or severely injured," said Rep. Rodney Moore, a Mecklenburg County Democrat.

You can find all the related documents at this link.

Meanwhile, in Washington...

A new Omnibus short-term spending bill was introduced last night - with a vote set for Friday. 

It's $1.3 Trillion and it includes all sorts of spending that Republicans used to oppose...


But we'll all be focused on the Trump vs. Biden smacktalk...

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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