NRHA's Rural Health Voices blog offers informed commentary on the latest news in rural health care from NRHA staff and editorials from selected contributors.

The University of North Carolina Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research Identifies Five Previously Unreported Rural Hospital Closures

New findings at the The University of North Carolina Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research uncovers five previously unreported rural hospital closures. 

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CMS policy changes impact hospital outpatient services

CMS recently released its proposed rule for the 2020 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). Among many changes, CMS proposed three key payment policy updates impacting hospital outpatient departments: lowering the supervision standard for hospital outpatient therapeutic services from direct supervision to general supervision; requiring prior authorizations for certain hospital outpatient department services; and reducing payments for clinic visits at off-campus...

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Overcoming common rehabilitation management obstacles

Hospitals of all sizes and in all locations face challenges delivering therapy and rehabilitation services to patients in the recovery phase of their stay. Whether they have just undergone surgery or require rehabilitation after a stroke or automobile accident, patients need to receive high-quality care to have the best chance of a positive outcome.

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NRHA announces top rural community hospitals

The National Rural Health Association has named the 20 highest-ranked prospective payment system hospitals in the country based on an evaluation by The Chartis Center for Rural Health using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength Index. These rural community hospitals will be recognized in an awards ceremony during NRHA’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit May 9 in Atlanta.

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Reviving the heart of a rural community

  • Author: MEDHOST

When a rural Alabama hospital faced closure, it took more than added capital to save the day. In a show of resilience that would have made The Free State of Winston proud, and with support from their community and health care partners, Lakeland Community Hospital was able to keep its doors open. Lakeland’s struggle offers a textbook example of what it takes to save rural health care in America.

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Real Cost Control Strategies Save Millions

You might think reducing claim costs by approximately $3.9 million since 2008 would be the first thing a hospital CEO would mention when asked about the success of their employee health benefit plan. Not so for Rebecca McCain, CEO of Electra Memorial Hospital who said, “It can be all about the money but, when it's better for the employee, it's also usually better for the hospital. That goes without being said.”

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Preventing unnecessary CEO turnover in rural and critical access hospitals

In many rural communities today, hospital CEO turnover rates are exceeding 20 percent. The exact cause for such a high rate is unknown, but it is certain that the overall health of rural communities is jeopardized. State and local health organizations, community leaders, and health care board members are becoming deeply concerned. In a national study, Yaffe and Company is seeking the opinions of current and prior CEOs and board leadership, as we search for causes and solutions.

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