Tag Archives: health care

State approves St. Anthony Hospital expansion

20090626-204356-pic-934221171_5654090_ver1.0_640_480State regulators have signed off on CHI Franciscan Health’s plan to add 32 beds to St. Anthony hospital in Gig Harbor. 

The Department of Health conditionally approved a certificate of need for the expansion on Nov. 29, according to documents posted online.

The $15.6 million project will build out the unfinished fifth floor of the hospital, bringing St. Anthony’s licensed bed count to 112.

CHI Franciscan proposed the additional beds to meet growing demand for services. The facility is frequently at full capacity, resulting in longer wait times and patient transfers to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.

“Building out St. Anthony will allow us to afford better care for our patients in the greater Gig Harbor community, with room to accommodate more patients with increased access to local services,” Dr. Lance Bear, MD, chief of surgery at St. Anthony, said in a news release. 

The new beds are expected to open in early 2018.

This post was updated to include information from a Wednesday news release.

Obamacare enrollment climbs in Kitsap

county-enrollment
Click to enlarge

About 300 more Kitsap residents were covered by health care plans purchased through the state’s exchange this year than in 2015, according to a report released earlier this month.

An additional 2,000 residents enrolled in the state’s expanded Apple Health (Medicaid) program over the same period.

As of September, the county was home to 5,206 residents covered by Qualified Health Plans and 43,936 covered by Apple Health.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange reported a more substantial jump in enrollment statewide.

The number of Washingtonians covered by Qualified Health Plans climbed by 13,581 in 2016, a 9 percent increase.

Enrollment is currently open for 2017 exchange plans. Customers who want their coverage to activate in January must enroll by Dec. 15. Open enrollment ends Jan. 31.

Enrollment in Apple Health is open all year.

For information, go to the Healthplanfinder website.

Harrison Medical Center earns patient safety award

Harrison Medical Center earned an award last week recognizing its success in improving patient safety.

The Washington State Hospital Association honored Harrison with a 2016 Achieving Best Care Award for attaining high scores in reducing patient harm, according to a news release from CHI Franciscan Health.

The award recognizes sustained improvements in five categories: infection, falls, early elective deliveries, sepsis and pressure ulcers.

“The safety of our patients is paramount to providing high quality medical care and ensuring our patients get back to their daily lives as quickly as possible,” CHI Franciscan Peninsula region President David Schultz said in the release.

“This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our providers, nurses and staff in making patient safety our top priority.”

You can find detailed quality scores for Harrison Medical Center here.

Fewer insurers offering exchange plans in Kitsap

clinic2_26273003_ver1-0_640_480Kitsap residents shopping for 2017 coverage through Healthplanfinder will have four insurers to choose from.

BridgeSpan Health Company, Group Health Cooperative, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington and Premera Blue Cross were approved to offer plans in Kitsap through the state exchange, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Regence Blue Shield and United HealthCare, which offered exchange plans in Kitsap in 2016, aren’t selling exchange plans in the county for 2017. United HealthCare dropped out of the state exchange entirely.

Three carriers — Group Health Cooperative, Group Health Options and Regence Blue Shield — are offering individual health plans in Kitsap outside of the exchange.

Here’s a breakdown:

Statewide, rates for plans sold in the individual market will increase by an average of 13.6 percent for 2017.

Insurers selling in Kitsap will raise rates by an average of 15.13 percent:

Open enrollment for the individual health insurance market starts Nov. 1, 2016 and runs through January 2017.

Enrollment in Apple Health (Medicaid) is open all year.

Click here for enrollment info.

Harrison Port Orchard Urgent Care cutting late night hours

20090113-181808-pic-839579123_5852379_ver1.0_640_480Harrison Port Orchard Urgent Care will reduce evening hours this fall in response to complaints regarding long wait times and understaffing.

The new clinic hours will be 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily, beginning Oct. 31, according to a letter sent to CHI Franciscan Health patients. The clinic is currently open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

According to the letter: “This change will ensure that three providers are in clinic during all business hours, which will improve access to our providers and decrease the time patients spend in the waiting room.”

CHI Franciscan spokesman Scott Thompson said the clinic saw an average of 8 patients between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“We are much busier during the day,” Thompson said.

South Kitsap patients needing care overnight will have to travel to an emergency department in Bremerton, Gig Harbor or Silverdale. CHI Franciscan Health also offers virtual urgent care 24 hours a day.

The Port Orchard clinic was originally open 24 hours a day. CHI Franciscan eliminated overnight hours at the urgent care in 2015.

The full letter to patients is posted below:

PO.urgent.hours by Tad Sooter on Scribd

Peninsula Cancer Center adds oncologist

cancercenter01_8283522_ver1-0_640_480A fourth physician has joined Peninsula Cancer Center in Poulsbo to help meet increased demand for services.

The independent cancer treatment center announced the addition of radiation oncologist Dr. Aaron Sabolch in a news release Thursday.

“There’s a growing demand for our services and the addition of Dr. Sabolch will allow us to continue to provide timely, high-quality patient-centered care for new and existing patients,” practice co-founder Dr. Berit Madsen said in the release. 

Sabolch received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed his residency at University of Michigan, Department of Radiation Oncology.

Peninsula Cancer Center was founded by Madsen and Dr. Alex Hsi in 2009. Dr. Heath Foxlee established a satellite clinic in Port Townsend in 2010.

See the center’s website or Facebook page for more information.

CHI Franciscan names chief medical officer

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson

Former Harrison Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Anderson has been tabbed to fill the same role for all of CHI Franciscan Health.

CHI Franciscan announced Anderson as its new chief medical officer Monday. He was named to the position in an interim capacity in February.

Anderson will oversee medical operations, medical staff services, regulatory compliance and quality of care for all eight CHI Franciscan hospitals, including Harrison.

“With Dr. Anderson’s guidance, we will continue to elevate physician leadership within our system to position us to set the standard for quality care, patient safety, and patient outcomes,” CHI Franciscan CEO Ketul J. Patel said in an announcement.

Anderson received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and his master’s in health administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

He previously served as medical officer to the Marine Corps and medical inspector general for the Navy.

Aesthetic medicine and tattoo removal center opens in Poulsbo

A new center in Poulsbo will cater to patients with unwanted skin blemishes and regrettable tattoos.

InHealthImage-Logo-6.16InHealth Image, located at 20700 Bond Road NE, offers skin rejuvenation and tattoo removal using an Enlighten laser, according to a news release.

Enlighten harnesses a combination of laser pulses to break tattoo ink and pigment cells into tiny particles, which are then absorbed by the body. According to the release, InHealth Image is the only center in the West Sound region using the technology, which speeds up the removal process.

“Better technology translates to fewer treatments and lower total cost for patients,” InHealth Image owner Dr. Manfred Henne said in the release. “Plus our team is dedicated to providing our patients with friendly, personalized service in a medical environment.”

Henne co-founded InHealth Image with Viola Medina, a family practice nurse practitioner. The aesthetic medicine and tattoo removal center is a sister company to InHealth Imaging, which provides diagnostic and medical imaging.

Kitsap Sun contributor Terri Gleich recently wrote about a surge in demand for tattoo removal, and services available in the county.

43,000 Kitsap residents enrolled in Medicaid

apple.healthRoughly one in six Kitsap County residents are now enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, called Apple Health.

A total of 43,833 people living in the county have signed up for Apple Health, according to a Tuesday report from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Kitsap ranked 10th among Washington counties for Apple Health enrollment.

Another 5,328 residents enrolled in qualified plans offered through the state’s individual health insurance marketplace, ranking eighth among Washington counties.

QHPStatewide, 1.52 million residents have enrolled in Apple Health and 169,000 purchased qualified health plans, according to the report.

The report highlighted statistics from the insurance marketplace’s most recent open enrollment period, which ended Jan. 31. Enrollment in Apple Health continues year-round.

Kitsap County’s uninsured rate fell steeply after the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program. Kitsap had the smallest percentage of uninsured residents in the state in 2014.

You can read the full enrollment report here. 

Software glitch forced Doctors Clinic shutdown

logoA software glitch disrupted services Monday at The Doctors Clinic facilities.

TDC President Dr. Randall Moeller said a problem with the operating system installed on the group’s servers prevented staff and physicians from booking appointments or accessing medical records.

“It pretty well shut us down,” Moeller said.

Moeller stressed the computer issue was not the result of any hacking activity and no patient information was compromised.

Many doctors still saw patients Monday and took notes on old-fashioned paper.

The Doctors Clinic was operating normally Tuesday.