Tag Archives: hospital

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.

Why not convert Harrison Bremerton into affordable housing?

Harrison Medical Center’s consolidation in Silverdale will leave a 450,000-square-foot hospital vacant in East Bremerton three years from now.

FeelingTheSqueezeHarrison parent company CHI Franciscan Health is still determining if the building can be repurposed or should be torn down.

Given the looming affordable housing crisis in Kitsap, reader Kim Edgar in Poulsbo wondered if Harrison Bremerton could be converted into dorm rooms for Olympic College students or some other form of low-cost housing.

“The rooms are large enough to be dorm rooms and they have their own bathrooms,” Edgar pointed out in an email.

674094_5539855_ver1.0_640_480-1“Throw in a small fridge and a microwave and you’ve got a dorm room. They could convert the nurses station in to a common room, laundry room and a common kitchen area.

“Or, maybe Kitsap Housing Authority could turn the hospital into an affordable apartment complex and possible temporary housing for the homeless.”

Edgar probably isn’t the only Kitsap resident eyeing the Harrison Bremerton building as a potential home for affordable rentals, so I asked Kurt Wiest with Bremerton Housing Authority if the idea sounded feasible.

“The simple answer,” Wiest said, “is it’s complicated.”

The Housing Authority has been interested in the site since Harrison announced its relocation plans. But Wiest said retrofitting the aging hospital into apartments would almost certainly be cost prohibitive.

Since portions of the building were built decades ago, Wiest said there are likely hazardous materials like lead or asbestos present that would make residential conversion a complex and expensive prospect.

Wiest believes there is potential to create housing at the Cherry Avenue campus if the hospital is demolished. Much will depend on what CHI Franciscan decides to do with the property.

Have an idea for creating affordable housing in Kitsap? Drop a comment below or write me at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com.

Harrison president will also lead St. Anthony

20090626-204356-pic-934221171_5654090_ver1.0_640_480Harrison Medical Center President David Schultz is taking on leadership of St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor.

Schultz will replace current St. Anthony President Kurt Schley at the end of July, according to a news release from CHI Franciscan Health, parent company of Harrison and St. Anthony.

Schley is leaving to become CEO of CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, North Dakota. 

Schultz was named president of CHI Franciscan’s Peninsula Region, which includes the Harrison campuses in Bremerton and Silverdale, as well as St. Anthony.

“This will help us maximize the delivery of high quality, seamless care and improve patient access to our communities on the peninsula,” CHI Franciscan CEO Ketul Patel said in the release. 

Schultz joined Harrison in December, replacing former CEO and President Scott Bosch.

St. Anthony (pictured above) opened in 2009. The 80-bed hospital offers 24-hour emergency care, cancer treatment, surgery and pharmacy services.

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Strong first quarter for jobs in Kitsap


Kitsap County is enjoying its highest job levels since 2008.

An average of 86,500 people worked for employers within the county in the first quarter of 2015, a 3 percent improvement from the same period of 2014.

Employment was up about 2 percent from last year among private companies in Kitsap and 4 percent among government agencies, according to data from the state Employment Security Department.

On the private side, some of the largest gains came from the areas of retail trade and leisure/hospitality.

The growth in government jobs was largely from federal employment, which increased from about 16,400 in the first quarter of 2014 to 17,400 in the first quarter of 2015.

Here’s a graphical look at jobs trends in Kitsap:


Employment/labor force

General employment among Kitsap County residents showed slight improvement in the first quarter.

An average of 108,373 county residents were employed during the first three months of the year, an increase of about 540 from the same period of 2014.

The labor force — the total number of people working or seeking work — was also up slightly in the first quarter, despite a dropoff in March.

Kitsap County finished March with a 5.7 percent unemployment rate, reflecting a modest gain in employment and the dip in the labor force.

Here’s a graphical look at employment and labor force trends in Kitsap:

Harrison/Regence split inspires legislation

The messy split between Harrison Medical Center and Regence BlueShield last year was the inspiration for a bill introduced Wednesday in the state Senate.

Sen. Rolfes

Senate Bill 5648, sponsored by Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, would add a section to the state Patient Bill of Rights to “ensure continuity of health insurance coverage in the event of a split between hospitals and insurers,” according to a news release.

The bill would add a section to the Bill of Rights guaranteeing patients in-network access to their hospital through the end of their plan year, even if their insurance carrier drops its contract with the hospital.

For example, if an insurance company terminated its contract with a hospital in August, those customers could still access the hospital at an in-network level through the end of December, and couldn’t be balance billed for the full cost of their care.

The bill is supported by the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

“When you buy a health plan, you expect to have access to vital providers when you need them,” Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in the release. “You also expect to pay the costs your policy outlines. This legislation would protect consumers from potentially huge financial bills that could arise during a contract breakdown.”

Rolfes began researching the issue after hearing complaints from Kitsap constituents following the termination of Regence’s contract with Harrison.

Rolfes and the Office of the Insurance Commissioner prodded the two sides into reaching a deal that would prevent Harrison from balance billing Regence customers for emergency care.

The agreement was retroactive back to the August termination date. (Harrison representatives said the hospital hadn’t been balance billing Regence customers anyway).

You can read my most recent post about the Harrison/Regence situation here. Continue reading

Harrison’s Bainbridge clinic opens Dec. 1


Harrison Medical Center’s 24-hour urgent care clinic on Bainbridge Island will open Dec. 1.

The medical group expects to have an occupancy permit for the 17,000-square-foot building next week, spokeswoman Jacquie Goodwill said. Along with urgent care, the two-story center will offer primary care, specialty care and imaging and lab services.

A public open house is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 20. Visitors can meet providers and learn about available services.

The clinic is located at  8804 Madison Ave North, adjacent to Madrona House and the Bainbridge First Baptist Church.

Construction of the building began about a year ago.

Franciscan Health System reveals new brand

CHI_FH_Tag_1line_Pos_5C_pmsTacoma-based Franciscan Health System has introduced a new name and logo as it continues integrating with Catholic Health Initiatives.

Franciscan is now CHI Franciscan Health. The new name comes with the new logo and tagline seen above.

CHI is rolling out a similar rebranding efforts across all its markets, according to a news release. The Colorado-based, non-profit medical group operates 93 hospitals and hundreds of outpatient centers spread across 18 states.

Harrison Medical Center affiliated with Franciscan last year. The Bremerton hospital’s brand remains the same, though it’s now part of CHI Franciscan Health.

The Tacoma News Tribune has a few more details on the Franciscan name change.

I’ll be taking a look at the progress Harrison has made integrating with Franciscan over the last year, and what changes are still to come, in a story next week.

Harrison’s letter to Regence customers

There was a lot of anger in the wake of the Thursday announcement that a contract between Harrison Medical Center and Regence BlueShield would terminate, and much of it was directed toward the local hospital.

Harrison sent a notice Friday to its patients covered by Regence with a letter from interim Harrison President Joe Kortum. (Longtime CEO Scott Bosch retired last month).

In the letter, Kortum expressed disappointment in the outcome of the negotiations and apologized to patients for the disruption. The letter also lists insurance still accepted by Harrison, with a suggestion that Regence customers to talk to their employers about switching carriers during the next enrollment period.

Here’s the full letter to patients:

Regence, Harrison pact good through Aug. 21

As we reported earlier, Regence BlueShield and Harrison Medical Center temporarily extended their existing contract while the two sides continue to hammer out a new agreement.

A spokesman for Franciscan Health System, which is negotiating on behalf of Harrison, confirmed the temporary pact will be in place through Aug. 21:

Franciscan Health System and Regence BlueShield of Washington have agreed to extend their negotiations on a new contract for Harrison Medical Center and Harrison HealthPartners through August 21, 2014. 

We understand that this is a difficult and confusing time for Harrison patients who are Regence of BlueShield of Washington members.  We are working diligently to try to reach a new agreement with Regence.

In a recent interview, Harrison board Chair Jim Civilla said the hospital recognizes patients are “caught in the middle” of the negotiations.

“We and the insurance companies have got to figure this out,” he said.

Harrison ER sees shift to Medicaid

Harrison Medical Center wasn’t able to provide us with patient payment data on short notice for our Monday story on health exchange enrollment. They were kind enough to send over a breakdown of emergency room visits by payment type today. It’s posted below.

After the opening of the exchange, and expansion of Medicaid, the Harrison ER saw a drop in the number of patients paying out of pocket and a surge in Medicaid payments, particularly under managed care plans. The number of patients covered under private plans actually dropped slightly.

The exchange is still compiling information about how many people who enrolled through Healthplanfinder were previously uninsured. We should have that information later this year.