Med Beat: How Virginia defines essential health services

The Lee County Hospital Authority on Monday said it plans on Feb. 1 to close on a deal that will end its partnership with the firm selected to reopen its hospital.

The terms are being kept confidential.

Here's a link to Sunday's story  on how the deal came to be and then how it fell apart.

The commissioners also agreed to enter into talks with Ballad Health, the system that was formed last year through a merger of Wellmont Health Systems, which closed Lee's hospital in 2013, and Mountain States Health Alliance, which had previously offered to bring in emergency care.

In allowing the two systems to merger, Virginia imposed conditions that include providing "essential services" in Lee County if a hospital did not open.

Virginia has defined essential services to include:

Emergency room stabilization for patients;

Emergency obstetrical care;

Outpatient diagnostics needed to support emergency stabilization of patients;

Rotating clinic or telemedicine access to specialty care consultants as needed in the community;

Helicopter or high acuity transport to tertiary care centers;

Mobile health services for preventative screenings, such as mammography, cardiovascular and other screenings;

Primary care services, including lab services;

Physical therapy rehabilitation services;

Care coordination service;

Access to a behavioral health network of services through a coordinated system of care;

Community-based education, prevention and disease management services for prioritized program of emphasis based on goals established in collaboration with the commissioner and the authority.

[This story was originally published by The Roanoke Times.]