KershawHealth spent $428,490 on legal services in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and has spent another $466,140 in FY 2014 to date, as of June 30. KershawHealth spent that money on Nexsen Pruet, which has acted as the healthcare organization's legal counsel for 21 years.
During a short special called meeting Thursday evening, the KershawHealth Board of Trustees voted unanimously to do something it has not done since 1993: vote to change what law firm provides the board -- and the healthcare organization's -- legal services.
Fewer people may be eligible for "free" care at KershawHealth if the healthcare system's board of trustees signs off on a "financial assistance policy" change. Currently, the charity care policy uses a "stair step" formula to determine how much assistance to provide lower income patients.
Fitch Ratings upgraded its financial outlook for KershawHealth from "negative" to "stable" July 17, according to press releases issued by the ratings firm and KershawHealth on Tuesday. KershawHealth said Fitch upgraded the outlook as a reflection of the healthcare organization starting to implement its strategic plan.
Three Kershaw County residents are undergoing treatment for rabies after contracting the disease from the same stray cat. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental control (DHEC) reported the cat exposed the three people during separate incidents on July 21 and 22 in Camden before being captured. Lab tests confirmed the cat as rabid on July 23.
The KershawHealth Board of Trustees will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in its Health Resource Center on Battleship Road. The meeting, which is open to the public, will focus on financial matters as Executive Vice President and COO/CFO Mike Bunch reports on June's finances.
As predicted at Monday's meeting of the KershawHealth Board of Trustees, the healthcare system scored 100 percent on six quality core measures for the third month in a row in June. The measures, reported to The Joint Commission, are shown to reduce the risk of complications, prevent recurrences and otherwise ensure excellent care for patients who go to KershawHealth for treatment of particular conditions or illnesses.
Orthopaedic surgeon T. Chris Tran, MD, has joined doctors Andrew Piasecki and James Nichols at Camden Bone & Joint. He will perform inpatient and outpatient surgeries at KershawHealth, and his practice will focus on general orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. Dr. Tran is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons.
More than three years ago, KershawHealth administrators started working on a plan to create a general surgery division within its healthcare system. In a press release issued Wednesday, KershawHealth administrators announced the completion of that effort, integrating the general surgical practices of doctors Paul Christenberry and Ed Gill. Gill previously practiced with Sentinel Health Partners, while Christenberry maintained a solo practice.
The KershawHealth Board of Trustees is once again meeting on a twice-a-month basis, with the first of its July meetings taking place today at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will focus on "general" KershawHealth topics. Its second meeting of the month -- set for July 28 -- will focus on finances.
Dr. Vincent Degenhart said "it was a shock" to receive both the S.C. Medical Association (SCMA) 2014 Physician of the Year Award and the Order of the Palmetto at the same time a month ago. Degenhart was recognized for his work combating childhood obesity. He formed and chairs the S.C. Childhood Obesity Task Force.
During a special invitation-only event Thursday afternoon and evening at the old Pine Tree Hill Elementary School on Lakeshore Drive in Camden, KershawHealth launched a new "employee engagement" campaign. The campaign, called "You Are Vi+al" (the "+" -- actually an orange colored healthcare symbol -- represents the letter "t"), features six 2-1/2 to 3 minute videos celebrating employees who go "above and beyond" for KershawHealth's patients, visitors, fellow employees and others.
The KershawHealth Foundation Board of Directors unanimously approved a more than $675,000 grant to KershawHealth at its May 20 meeting. The grant, along with $345,000 worth of cumulative gifts from the Carolina Cup Racing Association (CCRA) from the last four years, will help fund a new $1.02 million nurse call system.