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Cabinet for Health and Family Services Changes Regulation In Effort to Help Greenview Hospital After Losing Recent Battle Over Ambulance Service

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has changed a regulation following Greenview Hospital’s recent defeat in its attempt to establish an ambulance service in Warren County. The Cabinet’s changes improperly favor TriStar Greenview Hospital, an HCA-affiliated, for-profit, Tennessee-based corporation. The newly amended regulation brazenly seeks to remove the obstacles Greenview encountered when its Certificate of Need application was denied on January 4, 2019.

“Quite honestly, we are at a loss for words,” said Wade Stone, Executive Vice President of Med Center Health. “The Cabinet unnecessarily took aim at Warren County last September by crafting special legislation to benefit Greenview. It failed to get the wording right the first time, so now it is continuing its assault on Warren County and Med Center Health by amending the regulation. The Cabinet is dead set on helping Greenview feed market share to its affiliated hospitals in Tennessee under the disguise of addressing a non-existent ‘public health crisis.’ It’s baffling at best, and we question the real motives behind such behavior.”

Med Center Health has a lawsuit pending in Franklin Circuit Court which challenges the constitutionality of the regulation issued last September. Kentucky law prohibits the creation of laws and regulations that are written for the purpose of benefiting a specific organization.

“The Cabinet’s statement accompanying the new regulation point blank admits that the Cabinet is actively trying to interfere in the CON process, a process that is supposed to be free from political interference. Both the original and amended regulations were developed for the sole purpose of benefiting one particular corporation, Greenview. Not only do these regulations threaten to disrupt what is regarded as one of the very best ambulance service operations in the Commonwealth, but they expose Warren County taxpayers to a substantial tax burden that has been avoided for nearly forty years.” Stone concluded, “We look forward to presenting evidence of these illegal actions by the Cabinet in a court of law, where political influence is checked at the door,” said Stone.

Cabinet's Amended Regulation 01/15/19

Cabinet Denies TriStar Greenview’s Ambulance Service Application

Friday, January 4, 2019

Today, the independent hearing officer assigned to hear the case involving TriStar Greenview’s certificate of need (CON) application to initiate a second ambulance service in Warren County issued a Final Order denying the application. TriStar Greenview will therefore not be able to proceed with its proposed ambulance service. The Final Order (copy attached) cancels the CON hearing scheduled for January 7-10 and 16, 2019.

“We are very pleased with the hearing officer’s decision,” said Wade Stone, Executive Vice President of Med Center Health. “The decision is very well-reasoned, and we are relieved that neither our community nor our Medical Center EMS service will be adversely affected by TriStar Greenview’s proposal,” said Stone.

Stone added, “We will continue reaching out to officials in Frankfort now that the CON application has been denied and hope they will be receptive to our position. We will convey to those officials that our committed staff and responders are offering an award-winning service to the residents of Warren County without local taxpayer subsidization that so many other Kentucky counties experience. A second ambulance service will only create confusion with dispatch, negatively affect our existing service and possibly lead to the need for taxpayer subsidy.”

Medical Center EMS is an award-winning ambulance service. It is the only ambulance service in Kentucky accredited by both the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™) - both of which are gold standards within the industry.

Stone concluded, “As always, we will focus our efforts and energies toward improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve while respecting patient choice.”

Court Denies Motion by Greenview and Cabinet for Health and Family Services to Dismiss Medical Center EMS Lawsuit

Friday, December 7, 2018

Franklin Circuit Court has denied a motion filed by Greenview Hospital and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to dismiss a Medical Center EMS lawsuit challenging the Cabinet’s emergency regulation involving ambulance service.

The Cabinet issued the emergency regulation in late September which allows Certificate of Need (CON) applications for new ambulance services to be “fast-tracked” through non-substantive review if proposed in counties meeting certain criteria. When the Cabinet enacted the emergency regulation, it mistakenly identified six counties in which the emergency regulation would apply, one of which was Warren County. Greenview Hospital filed a CON application the morning after the emergency regulation was enacted and before the emergency regulation was available to the public online.

The emergency regulation came on the heels of a privately funded “study” by the Pegasus Institute, a Louisville-based “think tank,” that suggested Warren County was the most underserved in the state for ambulance service. Medical Center EMS and Warren County Fiscal Court were quick to point out that neither had been contacted by the Pegasus Institute, and Warren County Fiscal Court unanimously passed a resolution at its November 30 meeting stating there is no need for an additional ambulance service in Warren County.

Greenview Hospital’s first response to the Medical Center EMS lawsuit was to file a motion to dismiss it. In a highly unusual move, the Cabinet joined Greenview Hospital’s motion. The Cabinet has traditionally remained neutral in such disputes. Wade Stone, Executive Vice President of Med Center Health, commented, “We were pleased to hear that Franklin Circuit Court rejected the attempt by Greenview Hospital and the Cabinet to dismiss our lawsuit. The lawsuit was a last resort for us, however we felt from the very beginning that this regulation unfairly and unlawfully targeted Warren County and threatens to disrupt what is one of the best emergency response systems in the Commonwealth that is delivered with no tax subsidy from Warren County citizens.”

The Medical Center Sleep Center Receives Reaccreditation

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Medical Center Sleep Center in Bowling Green recently received program reaccreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

“Almost 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder,” says Justin Srygler, Director of Clinical Allied Services at The Medical Center, “and these disorders can be linked to chronic physical disorders as well as anxiety and depression. We are proud of the high-quality service The Medical Center Sleep Center offers to our community. This accreditation shows that our patients are receiving the best care possible.”

“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine congratulates The Medical Center Sleep Center on meeting the high standards required to earn reaccreditation as a sleep disorders center,” said Dr. Douglas Kirsch, AASM president. “The Medical Center Sleep Center is an important resource to the local medical community and will provide academic and scientific value in addition to the highest quality care for patients suffering from sleep disorders.”

To receive accreditation for a five-year period, a sleep center must meet or exceed all standards for professional healthcare as designated by the AASM. These standards address core areas such as personnel, facility and equipment, policies and procedures, data acquisition, patient care, and quality assurance. Additionally, the sleep center’s goals must be clearly stated and include plans for positively affecting the quality of medical care in the community it serves.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited a sleep disorders center for the first time in 1977. Today, there are more than 2,600 AASM-accredited sleep centers across the country.

The Medical Center Sleep Center was established in 1991 to diagnose and treat sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy, among others. The Medical Center Sleep Center also performs pediatric sleep studies and tests for all sleep disorders in children ages two and older. The Center is directed by Nisarfathmia Kazimuddin, MD, and is located at 825 Second Avenue East, A3.

Med Center Health Files Lawsuit Against Cabinet for Health and Family Services As “Last Resort” Over Emergency Regulation

Monday, October 29, 2018

Med Center Health announced Monday that it has filed a lawsuit against the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to stop an emergency regulation involving ambulance services. The Cabinet issued the regulation on September 25, clearing the way for an additional ambulance provider to address what the Cabinet wrongly calls a “public health crisis” in Warren County. Cabinet officials have since refused to meet with Med Center Health or Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon regarding the matter.

"This was our last resort,” said Wade Stone, Executive Vice President of Med Center Health. “The Cabinet left us no choice when it refused our request to simply have a conversation. We had hoped that a ‘public health crisis’ would warrant a meeting. It certainly seemed reasonable to us.”

Med Center Health has owned and operated Medical Center EMS for nearly forty years. It is the only ambulance service in Kentucky accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and recognized as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). Medical Center EMS received the 2018 Mission Lifeline: EMS Gold Award from the American Heart Association as well as the 2018 Award of Excellence for Pediatric Emergency Care.

According to Stone, Med Center Health is concerned about how the emergency regulation came to pass. “We know the Pegasus Institute released a study that contained significant errors and misleading conclusions while focusing much of its attention on Warren County. We know the Cabinet issued an emergency regulation that only affects two counties in the entire state, Warren being one of those. We know that TriStar Greenview filed a Certificate of Need application for a new ambulance service before the emergency regulation was published on the state’s website. And now we know the Cabinet won’t talk to us.”

Stone said Medical Center EMS will continue to meet the needs of Warren County with the same award-winning service patients have come to expect. “We sincerely appreciate everyone’s support,” said Stone. “Our crews will continue to provide professional, compassionate care in a timely manner. We’ll let Franklin Circuit Court figure the rest out.”