Wellmont Provides Outreach To Communities To Explain Impact Of Healthcare Reform

As healthcare reform mandates unprecedented changes for hospitals and providers throughout the country, Wellmont Health System wants the public to better understand the effect these sweeping revisions are bringing to the region.

To that end, Wellmont has created a community relations team to reach out to community organizations and civic groups and help provide information about the quickly evolving healthcare landscape.

"This is a momentous period of change for our nation, and we want the residents of the communities we are privileged to serve to fully understand what is transpiring," said Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont's president and CEO. "Do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to provide someone from Wellmont who can speak to companies, civic organizations and other groups. This will enable everyone to make informed choices and observations about the future of health care."

The Affordable Care Act and other federal actions, such as the sequester, have resulted in steep cuts to Medicare reimbursements for Wellmont and other healthcare organizations across the country. The lack of expansion of TennCare and Virginia Medicaid has also greatly impacted our region's providers.

These forces have required Wellmont to reorganize several aspects of the organization to create a sustainable model of health care in this new era. But they have provided welcome opportunities to develop new programs, such as the Wellmont LiveWell community health initiative, that can improve the region's health status and reduce hospital readmissions.

Those who live and work in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are experiencing many changes as well, such as mandates for individuals to obtain healthcare coverage, requirements for many businesses to provide insurance for their employees and the eligibility of young adults to remain on parents' health plans until they turn 26.

To request a speaker from Wellmont, please call Lee Fish, community relations coordinator, at 423-782-0611 or email lee.fish@wellmont.org.