Wellmont To Bring Valuable Information About Future Of Health Care To Kingsport Businesses

Wellmont Health System is partnering with the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce on a new initiative to bring valuable information about the opportunities and challenges it faces in the wake of healthcare reform.

In conversations to be held three times a year, Wellmont leaders will share with Kingsport businesses the impact of the Affordable Care Act and substantial reductions in reimbursements from the federal government and the way the health system is proactively responding to continue meeting the region's needs.

The first meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Chamber's Eastman Board Room, 400 Clinchfield St., Suite 100. Alice Pope, Wellmont's chief financial officer, will discuss healthcare reform's effect on the health system.

"We welcome this opportunity to engage with the business community and give them a complete picture of how reform is affecting our not-for-profit health system," said Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont's president and CEO.

"Wellmont embraces its indispensable role in improving the health and well-being of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, but we want to alert our business leaders about the new economic reality and how we are creating a sustainable model of health care. We also welcome their feedback and ideas about the appropriate ways to address the changing healthcare landscape."

One way Wellmont has responded is by placing an even greater emphasis on wellness and ensuring the health system is not just treating patients when they are sick but also working with them to stay healthy. This is a key focus of Wellmont LiveWell, an online program launched in the summer that encourages the development of healthier habits and offers many ways to accomplish these new benchmarks.

The health system is also exploring additional innovative ways to deliver care and align its resources and equipment to provide the services the community needs. That will empower Wellmont to continue achieving successful outcomes for patients and reinforce honors, such as Holston Valley Medical Center's selection as one of the top three hospitals in Tennessee by U.S. News & World Report.

 "Wellmont is a key economic player in our region, not only because of the expert care it delivers to patients but also due to its status as a major employer," said Aundrea Wilcox, executive director of the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship and a member of Holston Valley's board of directors.

"Our business leaders will benefit from hearing directly from Wellmont about a vast and complex law that everyone has heard from a national standpoint. It will be helpful for our members to gain additional insight how the Affordable Care Act is influencing the delivery of care and the initiatives Wellmont is developing that will enhance our community's quality of life."

The triannual meetings with Wellmont are free, but reservations are necessary due to limited seating. To secure a seat, please contact Lee Fish, Wellmont's community relations coordinator, at 423-782-0611 or lee.fish@wellmont.org.