SOMC Says Preparations Made for Hospital Taxation

The Ohio Legislature recently passed the 2010–11 state budget bill that will affect Ohio’s hospitals. Gov. Ted Strickland signed the bill into law Friday, July 17.

The bill states that all Ohio hospitals will be assessed a 1.52 percent tax in 2010 and 1.61 percent in 2011. Southern Ohio Medical Center will be required to pay more than $4.9 million in taxes over the two-year span.

“We have been proactive in anticipation of this bill,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “We began, earlier this year, taking into consideration that we would need to make reductions in expenses to meet these state requirements. Because of this, our budget has allowed for this expense from the state.”

In addition to the taxation to Ohio hospitals, the bill also allows for a 5 percent increase in Medicaid reimbursement and supplemental Medicaid payments for inpatient and outpatient services. This will go into effect Oct. 1.

“We will receive an additional $1.8 million in reimbursement from Medicaid. However, we will still have a total cost of $4.2 million that we will pay to the state in total,” he said.

Arnett said the organization expected changes from the state, but the cuts are more than anticipated.

“SOMC will meet the budget set earlier last month. However, we will have to work diligently to overcome this additional lower reimbursement,” he said.

Arnett explained that this doesn’t mean that the economy won’t change and that SOMC is clear of any further loss, but that the organization is always looking ahead.

“We will continue to work hard to overcome this setback and put the needs of our patients and employees first,” he said.

To learn more about this new state budget bill, visit the Ohio Hospital Association online at www.ohanet.org.

Vascular Surgeon Hochstetler Welcomed At SOMC

Marion Hochstetler, MD, a physician specializing in vascular surgery, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Hochstetler received his medical degree from Northeaster Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio. He completed a residency in general surgery at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio and a fellowship in vascular surgery at Greenville Hospital Systems in Greenville, SC. He is board certified in general surgery.

He can be reached at SOMC Surgical Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 102, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 353-3562 for more information.

Dr. Hochstetler will also begin accepting patients at the SOMC Wound Healing Center beginning Aug. 5. Patients may self refer to the center or have their family physician refer by calling 356-8775.

Family Practitioner Roberts Welcomed At SOMC

Phillip Roberts, DO, a physician specializing in Family Medicine, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Roberts graduated from Shawnee State University and received his medical degree from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his Family Practice residency at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Roberts can be reached at Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Wheelersburg Family Practice located at 613 Center Street in Wheelersburg. Call (740) 574-0529 for more information.

SOMC Honors Local Pre-Med Students

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently held an awards ceremony and dinner July 9 to honor local students who have been accepted into medical school for the 2009 school year. Each was welcomed by SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett and presented a medical dictionary from Dr. Aaron Adams, director of SOMC Medical Education.

Additional presentations concerning the SOMC Residency Training Program were made by Dr. Tom Carter, associate program director of the SOMC Emergency Medicine Residency, Dr. Terry Johnson, director of the SOMC Family Practice Residency and assistant dean of OU-COM CORE, and Dr. George Pettit, chief of OB/GYN Services at SOMC.

Those honored at the event include (front row, l to r): Michelle Wong (attending Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine); Matt Watson (Ohio University); Chase Hoover (The Ohio State University); and (back row, l to r): Nathan Hudson (University of Kentucky); Adam Evans and Seth Phillips (both Ohio University).

SOMC Receives Cycle II Chest Pain Center Accreditation

After completing a rigorous assessment and application process, Southern Ohio Medical Center has received full Cycle II Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

“Chest Pain Accreditation ensures that our patients are receiving the highest quality treatment needed during the critical early stages of a heart attack, helping to avoid as much heart damage as possible,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, said.

“It also ensures that we are meeting, exceeding and providing the highest quality of heart and vascular care available and verifies that we are on target with other heart care programs around the country.”

To receive the accreditation, SOMC had to meet the criteria of eight key elements which included: Emergency Department integration with Emergency Medical Services (EMS); timely diagnosis and treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS); assessment of patients with low ACS risk and no assignable cause for symptoms; process improvement; personnel, competencies and training; organizational structure and commitment; functional facility design; and community outreach.

“When we started our journey toward Cycle 1 Accreditation in 2005, we developed a Chest Pain Committee consisting of Emergency and Cardiology physicians, EMS, and hospital and nursing personnel who worked to meet the stringent standards associated with Acute Coronary Syndrome patients,” Fraulini explained.

The hard work, planning and processes developed by the group paid off, and SOMC received Cycle I Accreditation in 2006. A Cycle II Chest Pain Accreditation subteam was then formed from members of the previous committee, who submitted the Cycle II application last November. The process was followed by a site visit in early 2009.

“This accreditation is a critical component of the continuum of heart and vascular care that we’re providing for our community,” Fraulini added. “It not only validates our commitment, but further complements our goal of bringing state of the art, best practice heart and vascular care to our patients.”

SOMC Cancer Services to host Carnival for a Cure

2009 River Days Candidate Julie Seaman will team with SOMC Cancer Services to host a Carnival for a Cure from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 27 at the Cancer Center.

“Each River Days candidate is required to pick a platform which she must create awareness of throughout the community,” Seaman, senior at Northwest High School, said. “I chose breast cancer because of the significance it has played in my life.”

Seaman explained that her great-grandmother passed away from the disease, strengthening her goal to spread the importance of early detection.

“There are many tools out there that can be used to help the prevention of breast cancer, but unfortunately, many women wait until it’s too late,” Seaman said.

“Through this event, and my campaign, I hope to encourage young ladies to stay healthy by checking their family history, knowing the warning signs and receiving an annual screening. It’s never to early to start fighting against breast cancer.”

The carnival is open to both employees and community members and many family-friendly activities are planned including inflatables, snow cones, cotton candy and tours of the center’s new HDR breast cancer treatment room. River Days candidates from each local school district also will be on hand and Steve Hayes of Mix 99.3 will broadcast live for a portion of the event.

All proceeds collected during the day will benefit the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, which provides assistance to breast cancer patients.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Asher Welcomed At SOMC

Alain Asher, MD, a physician specializing in Cardiothoracic Surgery, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Asher received his medical degree from the University of Paris, Paris, France. He completed a residency in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery from Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. He is board certified in General and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Dr. Asher can be reached at SOMC Heart and Vascular Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 207, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 356-8772 for more information.

SOMC Nursing Camp to Offer Hands-on Experience

Local students enrolled in grades 7—12 who are interested in learning about the nursing profession are encouraged to sign-up for the 2009 Nursing Camp at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 13 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth. Lunch will be provided by Life Ambulance.

“A lot of the time, students don’t find out what being a nurse is truly all about until their very first day of nursing school,” Katy Stephens, nurse recruiter at SOMC and coordinator of the camp, said. “This program lets them explore the idea of nursing before deciding that it’s really what they want to study during their collegiate careers.”

During the camp, participants will gain a better understanding of nursing responsibilities through one-on-one interaction with hospital employees, as well as many hands-on activities and simulation tools.

“We want to give students experiences they can learn and grow from,” Stephens said. “In the past, we concentrated more on having speakers come in to talk about nursing, but this year students will actually be able to get their hands in there and see what it’s all about. It should be a lot of fun and we’re really looking forward to it.”

The program is open to 30 participants.

For more information, please call Katy Stephens at 356-7191.

Neurologist Rosenberg Welcomed At SOMC

Leon Rosenberg, MD, a physician specializing in Neurology, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Rosenberg received his medical degree from Brown University in Providence, RI. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Neurology at Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va. and a Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. He is board certified in Neurology, Electroencephalography, Neurophysiology, Electrodiagnostic Medicine and Neurorehabilitation.

Dr. Rosenberg can be reached at SOMC Physician Specialty Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 206, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 356-8570 for more information or to schedule an appointment.