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Friday, May 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm

United Memorial Hosptial earns AABB accreditation

post by Billie Owens in Announcement, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center announced that it has received AABB accreditation for Transfusion Activities (Blood Bank Services). The accreditation is valid for two years. Formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks, the AABB is an international not-for-profit accrediting association.

This accreditation, the highest any blood bank or transfusion service can achieve, is not usually pursued by smaller, rural hospitals. To meet the rigorous requirements of the AABB, United Memorial reworked all policies and procedures related to Transfusion Activities and worked closely with nursing units and the medical staff.

Accreditation follows an intensive on-site assessment by specially trained AABB assessors and establishes that the level of technical and administrative performance within the facility meets or exceeds the standards set by AABB. By successfully meeting the requirements, United Memorial joins other facilities located throughout the United States and around the world that also have earned AABB Accreditation.

“The AABB’s Accreditation procedures are voluntary,” Mark C. Schoell, CEO of United Memorial explained. “United Memorial sought AABB Accreditation because this program assists hospitals in achieving excellence by promoting a level of professional and technical expertise that contributes to quality performance and patient safety.”

AABB’s Accreditation Program contributes to the quality and safety of collecting, processing, testing, distributing and administering blood and cellular therapy products. The Accreditation Program assesses the quality and operational systems in place within a facility. The basis for assessment is compliance with AABB standards, Code of Federal Regulations and other federal guidance documents.

The AABB Accreditation program has been recognized by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua). In June 1995, AABB was granted “deemed status” as an accrediting organization under the clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA ’88) program.  This granting of “deemed status” indicates that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid program (CMS) has found the AABB accreditation process to provide reasonable assurance that the facilities accredited by it meet or exceed the conditions required by federal law and regulations.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

UMMC and GC War Memorial Committee hold special dedication ceremony for veterans memorial

post by Billie Owens in UMMC, veterans

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and the Genesee County War Memorial Committee will hold a special dedication ceremony for the Genesee County Veterans’ Memorial at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia.

In the early 1950’s Genesee Memorial Hospital was designated as the Genesee County War Memorial for wars fought in the 20th Century. A monument was placed near the entrance of hospital at 127 North St. that listed all the names of the men and women from Genesee County who died in service to their country during the two World Wars. Plaques for the Korean and Vietnam Wars were subsequently added to the monument.

The expansion and renovation of the hospital at North Street from 2009-2010, required moving the original 1950’s monument to a new location on the campus. The monument was disassembled and the white metal and aluminum plaques were carefully stored. The stone, made of a composite material, could not be salvaged due to extensive damage from the elements.

Hospital administrators met with representatives from Genesee County Veterans groups to discuss the condition of the monument and where to place it following the completion of construction. During this time, observances for Memorial and Veterans’ Days were moved to the Bank Street Campus. Centrally located Downtown, and out of the way of traffic and construction, attendance at the services on Bank Street increased substantially.

The War Memorial Committee, made up of veterans, requested that the new monument be placed at the Bank Street campus. United Memorial, honored to serve as the Genesee County War Memorial, agreed to the new location at the corner of Bank and Main streets. The Hospital also pledged to give funds, originally allocated for moving the monument during the construction project, to the committee to be used toward the new monument.

In November 2011, the veterans held a special ceremony to inter the original plaques in a vault below where the new monument was to be constructed. There is an engraved granite marker identifying its location at the site. To raise the additional funds necessary for the monument, the veterans solicited for donations and sold granite pavers that could be engraved with any veteran’s name, rank and military branch. The pavers will be permanently placed near the monument when the site work and landscaping are completed following the dedication. This will mark the culmination of a nearly five-year-long project to replace the original monument.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the dedication ceremony on May 17th. Following the ceremony, there will be a reception with light refreshments.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Free talk by UMMC doctor on thyroid and parathyroid disease, call to reserve a seat

post by Billie Owens in events, UMMC

At 6:30 p.m. on March 13, United Memorial Medical Center will host a free community health talk with Andrea Zucchiatti, M.D., in the Cary Hall Medical Library, 211 E. Main St., Batavia. The subject is thyroid and parathyroid disease.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, just above the collarbone. It is one of the endocrine glands, which produces hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in the body, including metabolism and heart rate. Though their names are similar, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are completely different. The parathyroid glands make parathyroid hormone (PTH), which helps the body keep the right balance of calcium and phosphorous. If the parathyroid glands make too much or too little hormone, it disrupts this balance.

This event is open to the community and there is no charge for attendance. Light refreshments will be served. Please call (585) 344-5331 to reserve a seat.

Event Date and Time

March 13, 2014 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

UMMC announces free outreach program called 'Ask a Nurse'

post by Billie Owens in announcements, UMMC

United Memorial is pleased to announce a new community outreach program called “Ask a Nurse.”

Ask a Nurse will be held on the first Tuesday of each month from 9 -11 a.m. in the Jerome Center Lobby at 16 Bank St., Batavia, and on the third Tuesday of each month from 9-11 a.m. in the main lobby of the hospital at 127 North St., Batavia.

A registered nurse will be present during these times to answer health-related questions, check blood pressures, review medications, and provide diabetes risk assessments. The program is free and open to the public on a walk-in basis. No appointments are necessary.

Both the Jerome Center and United Memorial Medical Center are handicap accessible and offer convenient parking near the main entrances.

Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

UMMC to become integrated affiliate of Rochester General

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, UMMC

Genesee County's only hospital will become a fully integrated affiliate of Rochester General Hospital, according to an announcement issued today.

RGH said it has reached an agreement to formalize "a comprehensive partnership."

“Even given our sound financial position today, changes in health care will continue to negatively impact independent rural health care providers,” stated Mark Schoell, CEO, United Memorial Medical Center. “The leadership of United Memorial remains committed to providing the best for our patients, and this expanded relationship will strengthen the future of health care in Genesee County.”

Here's the rest of the press release:

The hospital’s affiliation with RGHS will lead to a continued expansion of health care services in Batavia and on-site at United Memorial, and over time will result in fewer Genesee County residents needing to leave their community for vital health care. United Memorial will maintain its name and a local board, and will continue its longstanding tradition of providing a full range of medical and acute care services in Batavia after the affiliation is formalized.

The announcement today mirrors a trend among successful hospitals and health care systems nationwide. Community hospitals continue to be impacted by changes in the business of health care, and few have the size and scale necessary to support wide breadth of specialized services and technology required today. System affiliations address the economic realities that community hospitals face with health care reform, while ensuring patients have immediate and convenient access to a full range of primary and secondary services locally and a gateway to the best clinical care available when more highly specialized care and technology – like cardiac surgery, stroke services, neurosurgery, and other complex services – are required.

“Progressive and forward-thinking rural hospital management teams and boards like United Memorial’s continue to recognize the value in partnering with larger systems, to ensure their patients have access to a full range of highly specialized technology and physician expertise,” said Mark C. Clement, president and CEO of RGHS. “This partnership will enable the residents of Genesee County to continue to have access to and receive world-class care, right at home here at United Memorial.”

The two health care institutions are no strangers to each other, having collaborated in the areas of Cardiology, Pathology, Surgery, Urology and Gastroenterology since 2008, and most recently partnered to open a Cancer & Infusion Center at United Memorial. Rochester General and United Memorial have served residents in their respective communities for more than a century.

In making its decision to affiliate with RGHS, the United Memorial board cited the system’s longstanding focus on high-quality patient care and safety, its expertise in clinical integration, its comprehensive medical and surgical specialties that will enhance existing services available in the Batavia community, and its successful track record of collaboration with smaller acute care hospitals and physicians.

“We are creating a health care system that will serve as the future model that helps communities get healthy and stay healthy” Clement said. “We’re creating true alignment of processes and providing full access to life-saving services and exceptional patient care, no matter where you live or through which system-wide door you enter. We are committed to expanding services at United Memorial, which will serve as the western hub for all of Rochester General Health System’s services.”

RGHS operates the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute, recognized as the best in cardiac care in New York for four consecutive years by Delta CareChex quality rating group, and is the only area health system to be nationally rated by SDI – a premier health care analytics firm – as a TOP 100 Integrated Health Network each year since 2007. Integrated care networks are consistently recognized for delivering higher levels of quality, service, patient safety and efficiency. These are important factors, made even more so, as the government and insurers increasingly tie reimbursement to quality, safety, efficiency and the health of a defined patient population.

Leadership teams from both organizations will work closely together to create a formal affiliation and integration plan and to complete the required regulatory approval process, which is expected to take three to six months.

This affiliation with United Memorial aligns with and is complementary to RGHS’ current merger plans with Unity Health System. United Memorial would bring another high-quality, integrated hospital into the planned new system, enabling it to offer convenient access to exceptional, high-value care to more than a million patients throughout Monroe, Genesee, Ontario and Wayne counties.

Friday, January 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

UMMC announces first baby of 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center welcomed the first baby born within Genesee County in the New Year, 2014. Aliyah Ann Miller, a baby girl, was born to Rachel Pitz and Carl Miller of Lancaster, NY, on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at 6:43 p.m. at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. Aliyah is the second daughter for the family. Baby Aliyah weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 inches long. She was delivered by John C. Jaeger, MD.

“We chose United Memorial because of the great relationship we have with Dr. Jaeger. He delivered my first baby,” stated Ms. Pitz. “And, the nurses have been wonderful.”

The new mother is employed at Logistic Dynamics in Williamsville and Mr. Miller works for ECH Recovery & Associates in Lancaster.

As the New Year’s baby, Aliyah and her parents received a $200 gift card to a local department store and an engraved feeding spoon from United Memorial and a gift basket from the Maternity Unit staff.

There were 622 babies delivered at United Memorial in 2013.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 6:00 pm

UMMC, MVP come to terms on coverage for insurance bought through exchange

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Health Care, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and MVP Health Care® are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement which will allow United Memorial to be included as a network facility for MVP health insurance products purchased through the New York State of Health Exchange. The agreement was reached today, December 31st and will go into effect tomorrow, January 1, 2014.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, people who do not have health insurance through their job, or cannot afford the plan offered by their employer, now can use the “Healthcare Exchange” or “Marketplace” to compare plans and sign up. In New York State, residents are provided a list of insurance companies and plans to select from, based on their county of residence.

“We greatly appreciate the patience and understanding of our community as we are working to address the sweeping changes brought on by healthcare reform,” stated United Memorial’s CEO Mark C. Schoell. “I am pleased that we were able to bring the negotiation with MVP Health Care to a successful conclusion.”

Matthew MacKinnon, vice president, Network Operations, MVP Health Care said, “We are happy that United Memorial Medical Center is a participating provider for MVP products in Genesee County, including new Exchange coverage, and we look forward to continuing to serve residents of the Batavia area.”

Friday, December 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm

UMMC has yet to reach agreement with MVP on health insurance bought through the exchange

post by Howard B. Owens in Health Care, MVP, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center, the only acute care hospital in Genesee County, has been excluded as an “in network” provider by the insurance company MVP for its Healthcare Exchange insurance products following several attempts by United Memorial to negotiate a reimbursement rate structure. It is important to note that this only pertains to the MVP plans available on the Exchange. United Memorial does have contractual agreements with MVP for all of their other commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid insurance products.

Adding to the confusion for individuals when selecting a plan, is that many Genesee County physicians are listed as part of the MVP network; including several United Memorial Medical Center employed physicians, while the hospital is not included as a facility.

“We are disappointed that our efforts to be included in the MVP network of providers have not been successful,” said Mark C. Schoell, CEO of United Memorial. “We will continue to work with MVP to bring this situation to positive conclusion.”

As part of the Affordable Care Act, people who do not have health insurance through their job, or cannot afford the plan offered by their employer, can use the “Healthcare Exchange” or “Marketplace” to compare plans and sign up. In New York State, residents are provided a list of insurance companies and plans to select from, based on their county of residence. There are several companies and a range of options available on the Web site: nystateofhealth.ny.gov. With the exception of MVP, United Memorial has contractual agreements with all insurance companies listed on the site for Genesee County. Those contracts include: Fidelis, Independent Health, Blue Cross of Western New York, and Univera. People have until December 23rd to purchase a plan through the exchange in order to have seamless healthcare coverage beginning January 1st.

Individuals in Genesee County, who are purchasing their healthcare insurance through the exchange, should make sure that their physicians and hospital facility are both included in the insurance company’s network. If not, their care may be viewed as out-of-network, and most of the exchange plans do not cover out-of-network care. Application counsellors are available at United Memorial to assist with process of signing up for healthcare insurance coverage and to answer questions. Please call (585) 344-5428 with any concerns.

United Memorial has never turned anyone away from receiving the care they need based on their ability to pay and remains committed to providing quality care to the residents of our region.

Previously: Individuals who buy MVP health plans through new exchange reportedly not covered in Genesee County

NOTE: If you purchased MVP through the exchange (and only through the exchange), we might want to talk with you about your experience. E-mail [email protected]

Friday, December 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Individuals who buy MVP health plans through new exchange reportedly not covered in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in Health Care, Obamacare, UMMC

Customers signing up for an MVP health insurance plan through the new government-run exchange might find they can't get treatment from doctors in Genesee County.

A local healthcare provider was alerted to the potential hole in coverage and he said he's confirmed it with MVP representatives.

The lack of local coverage arose after UMMC declined to sign a reimbursement agreement with MVP.

The situation affects only customers who sign up for individual plans through the exchange. People who get any type of group coverage through MVP or who get MVP health insurance directly from the company (rather than through the exchange) are not affected.

An MVP spokesman has not responded to a request for an interview.

Jeff Baldick, at Genesee Orthopedic, alerted The Batavian to the hole in coverage and said he has spoken directly with MVP about the situation and confirmed with the insurance provider that his patients who purchased insurance from MVP through the exchange will not be covered.

He said MVP told him that it is not providing coverage for any patient in Genesee County who purchased insurance through the exchange.

According to Bob Chiavetta, CFO for UMMC, the hospital was presented with a take-it-or-leave-it reimbursement plan by MVP some months ago for patients covered by insurance through the exchange.

The hospital rejected the reimbursement agreement because the health care reimbursements are significantly lower than those of other insurance providers, even lower than what MVP reimburses for group coverage and Medicaid.

So while the hospital continues -- as it alway has -- to accept patients covered by these other MVP products, it has no agreement with MVP for reimbursements of patients who purchased MVP insurance through the exchange.

"We communicated to them that those rates were not adequate," Chiavetta said. "They told us they were trying to work on their network and would get back to us, but we never heard anything back from them. We never received a letter or any written communication that we were being excluded. Then a week and a half to two weeks ago, we started hearing from patients that we were not listed as a network provider. When we heard that, we spoke with them and we're trying to work through something."

Chiavetta is hopeful an agreement can be reached soon with MVP to provide adequate reimbursements for patients who purchase MVP insurance through the exchange.

MVP is the only insurance provider, Chiavetta said, who significantly lowered reimbursements for patients coming through the exchange. All of the other insurers, he said, provide reimbursements to the hospital that are consistent with policies obtained outside the exchange.

It was Chiavetta's understanding that MVP was providing coverage on the exchange product to patients in Genesee County up to the point the patient might get referred to UMMC, but Baldick said MVP told him explicitly that no Genesee County patients would be covered because any doctor's office visit could potentially result in a referral to the local hospital.

Across the board, Chiavetta said, the Affordable Health Care Act, is leading to lower reimbursement rates for the hospital, but that won't affect the quality of care at UMMC.

He's more concerned, he said, about the higher out-of-pocket expenses some patients might encounter if they purchase health insurance through the exchange.

The lower premium plans have deductibles as high as $6,500 annually.

He said people planning to purchase health insurance through the exchange should look very closely at those plans and ensure they are adequate to meet their needs. Just because a monthly premium is as low as $200 doesn't mean it's the right plan for an individual.

"I can see where it's attractive to them," Chiavetta said. "The only thing I would say is for people who are actively looking for insurance on the exchange is be very aware of what the cost is going to be. A lot of people are gravitating toward the lower premium plans, but that's a risk. It doesn't take much of an illness to cost a lot of money.

"A product for $200 a month might work great for some, but they might be better off paying more if they picked a higher plan. You've got to take your own health care needs into account."

The hospital has three people going through training next week on how to help people navigate the exchange.

"As patients come to us who are uninsured, just as we do now, we will help them understand financial assistance, Medicaid, and we will add to that help in getting through the exchange and selecting a health care product that is out there that is appropriate for them," Chiavetta said.

Anyone with questions now are welcome to call Sue Brown, director of patient financial services, at (585) 344-5428.

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

UMMC honors employees for years of service

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center honored the years of service of more than 100 employees at its annual recognition dinner on Oct. 2 at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia. Employees were recognized for their years of employment at five-year milestones.

Aida Nogueira and Laurentina Rosa, both Environmental Services technicians, achieved the 45-year milestone. Pamela Boshart-Lynch RN BSN, director of Education, Healthy Living and Cardiac Rehab Services was honored for 40 years of dedicated service along with Elizabeth Brian of the Emergency Department and Judy Yager, RN of the Ambulatory Surgery Unit. Celebrating 35 years were Ann Arent and Julie Kelsey from Medical Records, Mary Bibler and Marie Lawrence of the Laboratory Department, and Pamela Kader of Environmental Services.

Honored for 30 years of service included Linda Buckel RN and Nancy Johnson RN, Emergency Department; Mary Gerych RN, Intensive Care Unit; Kathleen Green RN and Lori Hebdon RN, Obstetrics; Cheryl LoVerdi, Finance manager; Ed Nogueira, Facilities Management; and Susan Reed, Radiology.

Achieving 25 years were Donna Clark, Central Supply; Alanna Dailey RN and Debra Langford, Nursery; Lori Donley, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit; Vicki Downs and Deborah Johnson, Supply Chain Management; Donna Keough RN, Ambulatory Surgery Unit; Hope Knapp and Todd Wilkes RN, Surgery; Mary Lama RN BSN, 3rd Floor Medical/ Surgical Unit Clinical Care Coordinator; Rebecca Schrader, Intensive Care Unit; Joann Shaffer, Medical Records; Peggy Stevens, Environmental Services; Anna Sunderland, Food Services; and Donna Weibel, Risk Management.


Those celebrating 20 years of service include Bonnie Bezon RN, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department; Sandra Boryczka, Laboratory; Chad Caccamise, Information Services; Louis Schrauger, Environmental Services; Susan Wlazlak, Human Resources; and Cindy Zarcone RN; 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit.

There were 32 employees who received recognition for five, 10 and 15 years of service. Each employee received dinner for themselves and a guest, flowers and a gift certificate. Employees with 25 years or more of service were honored individually by their manager and senior leader with a presentation highlighting their contributions.

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