Tennova: Freestanding emergency department to be ‘satellite ED’

Certificates of need outline planned FSED services

By BRIAN GRAVES Staff writer
Posted 5/5/18

Tennova-Cleveland has selected a site on Stuart Road for its proposed freestanding emergency department (FSED).

The certificate of need application submitted to the state says it proposes to …

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Tennova: Freestanding emergency department to be ‘satellite ED’

Certificates of need outline planned FSED services


Tennova-Cleveland has selected a site on Stuart Road for its proposed freestanding emergency department (FSED).

The certificate of need application submitted to the state says it proposes to establish the facility in its home county “to reduce the current high capacity constraints at its main hospital campus ED, and simultaneously enhance access to emergency services for residents in the communities it has historically served.”

Tennova-Cleveland officials said the proposed facility will be “hospital-based, operating as a satellite ED” and will “utilize the same proven high-quality programs and services of Tennova-Cleveland’s main campus ED.

“The same physician group, TeamHealth, that currently cares for ED patients at Tennova-Cleveland’s main hospital campus ED will provide care for patients in the freestanding emergency department,” the application states.

It adds it will be staffed with 47.2 full-time equivalent staff members as the service will be available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year, which requires round-the-clock staffing.

“The proposed staffing includes clinical positions such as registered nurses, nursing assistants and technicians, respiratory therapists, as well as radiology and CT technologist to support the imagining services in the FSED,” the application said. “Additional positions include laboratory staff along with other support functions such as patient registration and security.”

The application noted the hospital serves nearly 50,000 patients each year, making the community hospital a “high-volume facility.”

“The vast majority of Tennova-Cleveland’s ED patients reside in Bradley and Polk counties,” the application said. “Residents and businesses in these two counties rely on Tennova-Cleveland for ED services, evidenced by the letters of support provided and by Tennova-Cleveland’s historical ED market share in the two counties.”

The letters of support attached to the application come from state Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Polk County Executive Hoyt Firestone, Dr. Azhar Sheikh of Cleveland Medical Associates, Drs. Rickey Hutcheson and Lee Radford of Tennessee Valley Bone and Joint, Dr. Terry Parsons of the Benton Family Health Care Center, Robin Jennings of Manufacturers Chemicals, and Brenda Choate of Cormetech.

Tennova-Cleveland notes the closing of Polk County’s local hospital, Copper Basin Medical Center, means residents from “must travel outside of their home county for all hospital-based services, including emergency services.”

“The historical reliance of Polk County residents on Tennova-Cleveland to meet their healthcare needs, including emergency services as well as a comprehensive array of inpatient and outpatient services, means that Polk County residents will naturally turn to Tennova-Cleveland to fill the void left by their home county hospital closure,” the application states.

Tennova-Cleveland notes its FSED location on Stuart Road is located on one of the routes serviced by the Cleveland Urban Area Transit System.

“The availability of public transportation is material in this instance because of the large uninsured and underinsured (TennCare) population Tennova-Cleveland’s ED serves,” the application states.

“The needed expansion of Tennova-Cleveland’s emergency services cannot be accomplished on the main hospital campus; thus, an off-campus solution to expand the ED is needed,” the hospital said in its application. “The proposed project accomplishes the needed expansion while concurrently enhancing access to emergency services for residents in the two-county service area.”

“The proximity to the growing residential, retail and commercial/industrial area of the county is a benefit of the project, and will help ensure the economic feasibility of the FSED.”

The Tennova-Cleveland petition also said the majority of ED patients who must be admitted for inpatient care remains at the hospital where they initially sought treatment. The hospital reports it annually admits approximately 13.5 percent of its ED patients for inpatient care.

“For the small portion of ED patients who will need to be admitted to a specialized tertiary or quaternary care provider, they will still be transferred to a hospital outside of Bradley and Polk counties, most often times to Chattanooga for highly-specialized care,” the application states adding that neither of the two proposed FSED’s will change the pattern.

“It must be noted that Tennova-Cleveland’s proposed project will have no adverse impact on any existing provider because the project is needed to better serve existing Tennova-Cleveland patients, and to care for the Polk County ED patients who have long relied on Tennova-Cleveland for healthcare services, including emergency services, and now have no home-county hospital.”

The hearing by the THSDA Board is scheduled for June 27 in Nashville; however, a public hearing can be requested in the community.

THSDA Deputy Director Mark Farber told the Cleveland Daily Banner in March there is no deadline to ask for the public hearing, but they would prefer it occur the “earlier the better so we have time to find a venue and there needs to be enough time so the package can be prepared and presented to the board.”

With the board hearing scheduled for June 27, Farber said it would be best to have any requests turned in by late April or early May.

Those requests can be sent to Health Services and Development Agency, Andrew Jackson Building, 9th Floor, 502 Deaderick St., Nashville, TN 37243.


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