Healthcare-Next Step

on Wednesday, 18 September 2019.

The Dog Caught the Car... Now What?

Hello Friends:

For those of you who don’t already know, Franklin County Commissioners voted to suspend spending on a Weems replacement and look to three area Healthcare Systems to partner with. The CCFC has worked tirelessly to see this day come. For all the reasons we have espoused in the past, economics and demographics spelled the end of the current system. But, as Ross Perot famously said in his unsuccessful run as a third party Presidential candidate. “That giant sucking sound you heard”, was the emptiness of ideas for what’s next. It is the CCFC’s opinion that there is no one in our county government that can lead us forward. The issues are complex, partisan and beg for entirely new thinking.

The CCFC is going to push forward with creating a roundtable meeting in October for invited individuals to discuss the way forward. The meeting will be open to the public and public officials. We see our role as kicking off the discussion in a carefully considered manner to ensure that a Vision Statement is well thought out, vetted and eventually implemented. We will be contacting individuals that have either expressed an interest in “what’s next” or that have shown an interest in the past to implement something better than we have at present. If you, or someone you know would like to be considered please reach out to me; I’d love to speak with you.

The following is our current thinking and is just a beginning. I hope you see a lot of what you like and understand at least one sound direction we can go:

Assumptions and Goals:

  1. Franklin County wants the best possible healthcare for its citizens.
  2. The Franklin County Commission acknowledges that Carrabelle was originally promised a 24x7 urgent care facility.
  3. Franklin County currently collects a 1% Healthcare Trust Fund Tax to be divided equally between Weems Operations and Capital requirements. This was agreed to through and by Inter-local Agreement with Apalachicola and Carrabelle, although with specific local requirements embodied in each agreement.
  4. Weems Hospital as currently configured and operated is not a successful or viable continuing option. Averaging about one inpatient per night and losing far more than the generous subsidies it receives cannot go on forever.
  5. It is estimated that up to 85% of healthcare services for Franklin County citizens is presently performed outside the county.
  6. As a stand-alone hospital, Weems is not affiliated with any geographically close major health system.
  7. Franklin County’s population is aging and generally static. There are many unmet needs, particularly for the young and elderly, for those with ongoing health challenges and for those with inadequate or no health insurance.
  8. A major objective is to deliver a greater percentage of healthcare within the county and to make local access desirable and readily available to all.
  9. There are three pillars upon which success in the county depends; successful educational institutions, broad based economic development and strong access to excellent healthcare. This will bring business opportunities, retirees and vacationers in greater numbers helping to boost our local economy and create jobs
  10. To reduce the number of ambulance runs and response times; reducing runs through a combination of geographic centralization leading to shorter miles per run and less runs because of the availability of high quality locally available healthcare.
  11. Permanently change the form of governance to a qualified Health Trust Board on one FCBOCC Commissioner shall have a permanent seat and the Partner Healthcare System (PHS) one seat. Medical, Faith, local leaders and business individuals will fill out the balance of an eleven member Health Trust Board (HTB) to be chaired by a member they select.
  12. Franklin County’s financial liability will be strictly limited per agreement vs. the unlimited liability it has today.
  13. The PHS with which Franklin County partners will be the primary financial partner. The PHS shall own/lease and maintain all capital equipment and real estate.

Request for Proposal:

  1. Modify as necessary and assume responsibility for Carrabelle Weems Clinic so as to be able to provide a 24x7 Urgent Care facility. Ownership of the facility will remain with Franklin County which will lease the facility for $1 a year for 15 years with one additional lease term of 15 years available. Lease shall be triple net, meaning no cost to the county. The FCHD clinic shall be closed and combined into one Carrabelle service facility.
  2. Build, equip and maintain a free-standing Emergency Room Facility including four observation beds in a physical location agreed to by all parties, preferably in Eastpoint, Florida.
  3. Provide a plan to provide and bring in specialists on a regular rotating basis to either or both facilities.
  4. Provide outreach, training incentives and support to hire and/or retain the largest number of local Franklin County citizens possible. All employees shall be credentialed, trained and provided with normal benefits of the contracted PHS.
  5. Provide a system of emergency care access including aeromedical evacuation to ensure that Franklin county citizens can receive care in the critical “Golden Hour” where possible for major trauma/sickness.
  6. Develop a RFQ for proposed PHS applicants including a response document to ensure “apples to apples” responses.
  7. The Partner Healthcare System will share in the initial Capital Costs of reorganizing and refurbishing of the Carrabelle Clinic as well as those of the new free standing Emergency Department on a 50-50 basis subject to agreed up maximums for both sides.
  8. Franklin County will contribute 50% of the ongoing existing Healthcare Trust Fund Tax as a subsidy to the selected PHS and will no longer individually subsidize clinics out of the General Fund
  9. The Health Trust Board will retain the other half of the Healthcare Trust Fund and use it to spark and incentivize other healthcare services in the county including but not limited to; dentistry, mental health, the special needs community, challenges unmet by other programs and targeted programs to improve healthcare within the county and such other needs that the Board deems appropriate and reasonable that extend life and viability of Franklin County citizens.

All facilities would be operational within 24 months of execution of an Agreement.

That’s it ladies and gentlemen. As always, I’d love to hear your comments. We must move fast. Nature abhors a vacuum and we have one at the moment.

The very best to you all!

Thank you.

Allan J. Feifer
Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc.
P.O. Box 990
Eastpoint, Florida 32328
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(850) 653-5571

“The Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Inc. serves as a citizens’ advocate to ensure that our Franklin County governments are more open, affordable, efficient, and responsive to our citizens. The organization seeks to hold public officials accountable for their actions in the administration of their duties and in their fiduciary responsibilities to the taxpayers.”

Commissioner Contacts:

Commissioner Bert Boldt - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 519-4966

Commissioner Smokey Parrish - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 653-8790

Commissioner Ricky Jones - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 653-8861

Chairman Noah Lockley - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 653-4452

Commissioner William Massey - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 653-8861

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