“We have a really good health system,” Levine said. “When you look at the data and all the information, we are one of the higher performing health systems these days. If that story was to be told, it’s something our economic development folks can use when they are trying to sell our region to potential employers. The two most important questions asked by people who want to move here or who are considering moving here are ‘How are the schools?’ and ‘How is health care?’
“This is not a small issue. This is a big deal. If we tell people their health system is good, they will believe it. People will seek to stay here for their health care and, in fact, people may even choose to come here from outside the area instead of going to Roanoke or Nashville or Charlotte or Asheville. This is legitimate news. … People don’t realize what they have here.”
Levine’s evidence includes:
• IBM/Watson, a leading independent health care data analytics firm, named Mountain States Health Alliance as one of the top performing quintile hospital systems in the nation.
“When I told that story, I don’t say, ‘Mountain States,’ “ Levine noted. “I say, ‘Ballad Health.’ I don’t want it to look like (Ballad merger partner) Wellmont wasn’t named. The reality is we are all part of the same system now, and those very same things that got Mountain States highly ranked will benefit the entire system. We’re in the same quintile as the Cleveland Clinic.”
More about Levine’s Ballad perspective from the Kingsport Times News.