By Ashley Rader
Mountain States Health Alliance is in the midst of a switch that has changed the blood supplier for three of the system’s facilities and will eventually affect all of MSHA’s hospitals.
Effective since Monday, MSHA is receiving blood for Johnson City Medical Center, Johnson County Community Hospital and Franklin Woods Community Hospital exclusively from Blood Assurance, a non-profit regional blood center based in Chattanooga.
MSHA Communications Manager Teresa Hicks said the supplier switch would just change the supply source of blood for the hospitals, and would not impact the level of services for patients in any way.
“This is just a matter of where the blood is purchased from,” Hicks said. “This is a more cost-effective solution for us.”
She said the system had been being charged a markup from Marsh Regional Blood Center, the previous supplier for those hospitals and the supplier for the remaining hospitals in the system. She said Marsh sometimes uses Blood Assurance to supply blood to hospitals.
Blood Assurance Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Linda Hisey said Blood Assurance has acted as a backup for Marsh Regional Blood Center in the past when the center’s supply has run low.