Cumberland Medical Center is a member of Covenant Health, the region’s largest healthcare delivery system. Covenant Health includes 10 hospitals and a variety of outpatient and specialty clinics throughout a 23-county service area.
“Being a part of Covenant Health provides a tremendous value locally,” says Cumberland Medical Center Chief Administrative Officer David Bunch. “The health system provides resources that most rural hospitals would not be able to afford independently and allows us to serve our community by offering convenient access to local care. In addition, we provide a significant amount of charity care to our community.”
As a not-for-profit medical center, CMC complies with the IRS requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This act requires hospitals with tax-exempt status to work collaboratively with other community organizations to identify local health-related needs and to develop an action plan to address those needs. The plan is commonly referred to as a Community Health Needs Assessment.
Maintaining this plan is an essential relationship tool for hospitals. Covenant Health partners with University of Tennessee Social Work Office of Research and Public Service to help conduct community surveys to gather information about local health priorities. The community survey for the 2022 Needs Assessment is now available online, and individuals are encouraged to participate.
“We are hopeful the community will help us by taking part in the brief online survey,” says Bunch. “The Community Health Needs Assessment is a living document that helps us strategically set priorities based on feedback from people in our local area.”
To take the 2022 CMC Community Health Needs Assessment survey, visit CMChealthcare.org/survey. Previous assessments for 2017 and 2019 can be found at CMChealthcare.org/community-health-needs-assessment.
Although hospitals across the nation continue to face unprecedented challenges; CMC accomplished the following significant milestones in 2021:
It is the expressed philosophy of Covenant Health and its member hospitals that no one should be denied necessary medical care because of the inability to pay. In 2021, CMC provided $10,555,280 in charity care for residents of the Cumberland Plateau. Patients who need financial assistance may request consideration through an online application process.
CMC Added Tele-ICU
The CMC Intensive Care Unit welcomed Tele-ICU to expand existing critical care services, ultimately improving patient outcomes and overall quality of care. The hub of the initiative is a remote telehealth operations center in Knoxville that enables consultation and patient monitoring around the clock through a seamless collaboration of additional critical care nurses and physicians. These professionals work virtually alongside hospital staff to proactively evaluate high acuity patients and anticipate medical needs before they become urgent.
CMC Earned ACR Accreditation in PET
CMC earned American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. PET, also called “PET imaging” or a “PET scan,” is a type of nuclear medicine imaging. Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report that can be used for continuous practice improvement.
In 2021, CMC upgraded its PET/CT technology to obtain higher quality images for visualization for imaging and treatment planning in a fraction of the time compared to the previous unit. The new unit also provides a more comfortable patient experience. CMC also holds ACR accreditations in Radiation Oncology and as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.