Emergency room use, surgeries up at RMC Jacksonville since purchase
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
May 20, 2013 | 6689 views |  0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Anniston hospital purchased RMC Jacksonville for $6 million in December from Tennessee-based firm Capella Healthcare. (Anniston Star photo by Trent Penny)
The Anniston hospital purchased RMC Jacksonville for $6 million in December from Tennessee-based firm Capella Healthcare. (Anniston Star photo by Trent Penny)
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More patients used services at Jacksonville's hospital in the five months since Regional Medical Center purchased it than during the same period last year, according to a report given to the RMC board Monday.

Joe Weaver, vice president of operations at RMC, said RMC Jacksonville had experienced growth in various service and treatment areas compared to the previous year. Weaver, who has overseen RMC Jacksonville since its purchase, provided the information at RMC's regular board meeting Monday. The Anniston hospital purchased RMC Jacksonville for $6 million in December from Tennessee-based firm Capella Healthcare.

Weaver said that compared to the first five months of last year, RMC Jacksonville has seen gains in patient testing, emergency room visits and an increase in surgeries. Weaver did not have exact figures of the growth at the meeting.

"We're seeing a similar trend in May ... this May could be our biggest month ever for surgeries," Weaver said of RMC Jacksonville.

Weaver noted that RMC Jacksonville did experience a decrease in general admissions. However, he added that many hospitals across the country are seeing drops in general admissions — a result of the still sluggish economy and rising healthcare costs.

Weaver attributed RMC Jacksonville's improvements to various factors.

"Certainly we have increased marketing efforts and expanded services," Weaver said.

Weaver said that RMC's reputation has also added the gains at the Jacksonville hospital.

"Our reputation has helped us and people know we are going to stay and do everything we can," Weaver said. "Our plan is to lend significant support to our facility in Jacksonville."

In its efforts to improve the Jacksonville facility, RMC recently purchased $150,000-worth of fetal monitors for the hospital.

Also during the meeting, Weaver discussed improvements at the student health center at Jacksonville State University. The university hired RMC in January to manage the health center.

Weaver said RMC was in discussions to hire a full-time physician by Aug. 1 for the health center.

"That will help increase patient flow and volume growth," Weaver said.

Weaver also discussed RMC's plans to open an urgent care clinic in Piedmont in early July. Weaver said RMC has hired Dr. Corey Gilliland to work at the clinic, which will be a 3,700-square foot facility. Like the Jacksonville hospital purchase, the clinic is part of RMC's ongoing efforts to expand its reach and become a more regional hospital. It is also currently expanding a rural health clinic in Roanoke.

The board also learned that RMC's staff had selected Jamie Harris on May 7 as the hospital's nurse of the year. Harris has worked at RMC for 30 years.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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