North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal Named in Top 100 Crit­i­cal Ac­cess Hos­pi­tals

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Spe­cial Col­lab­o­ra­tion, Nancy Goss New­port, VT

North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal was re­cently named one of the Top 100 Crit­i­cal Ac­cess Hos­pi­tals in the United States in the first ever com­pre­hen­sive rat­ing of crit­i­cal ac­cess hos­pi­tals.

The list was com­piled by The National Ru­ral Health As­so­ci­a­tion (NRHA) us­ing the Hos­pi­tal Strength In­dex, an ob­jec­tive way of mea­sur­ing 56 dif­fer­ent per­for­mance met­rics in three cat­e­gories: mar­ket strength, value-based strength, and fi­nan­cial strength.

Only three Ver­mont hos­pi­tals, the oth­ers be­ing Copley Hos­pi­tal in Mor­risville and Gif­ford Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Ran­dolph, made the list. There are 1,327 Crit­i­cal Ac­cess Hos­pi­tals in the United States, ac­cord­ing to the Ru­ral As­sis­tance Cen­ter.

«We are truly hon­ored to be rec­og­nized as one of the top per--

form­ing Crit­i­cal Ac­cess Hos­pi­tals in the coun­try,» says Sh­eryl Wash­burn, VP of Pa­tient Care Ser­vices at North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal. «The com­bi­na­tion of ex­per­tise from our clin­i­cians, train­ing and ded­i­ca­tion of our em­ploy­ees, and guid­ance from our Board of Di­rec­tors has al­lowed North Coun­try to en­hance our op­er­a­tions as a Crit­i­cal Ac­cess Hos­pi­tal and to keep our fo­cus on our top pri­or­ity—the pa­tients.»

«Now is the time for us to ad­vance the an­a­lyt­ics and trans­parency of the ru­ral health sec­tor,» said Alan Mor­gan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the National Ru­ral Health As­so­ci­a­tion. «We play such a crit­i­cal role in pro­vid­ing needed care to Amer­i­cans, yet our chal­lenges are com­pletely dif­fer­ent in ac­cess while equally com­plex in de­liv­ery as ur­ban hos­pi­tals.»

NRHA is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion work­ing to im­prove the health and well­be­ing of ru­ral Amer­i­cans and pro­vid­ing lead­er­ship on ru­ral health is­sues through ad­vo­cacy, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, ed­u­ca­tion and re­search.

The Hos­pi­tal Strength In­dex™ in­cor­po­rates 56 dif­fer­ent mea­sures of per­for­mance to help iden­tify those hos­pi­tals that are best pre­pared for suc­cess un­der the new health­care re­forms. The In­dex in­cludes a unique set of mea­sures rat­ing Mar­ket Strength, Value-based Strength (qual­ity, out­comes, pa­tient perspectives, and cost and charge in­di­ca­tors) and long term Fi­nan­cial Strength as key pil­lars for bench­mark­ing and set­ting new goals un­der health re­form.

A Crit­i­cal Ac­cess Hos­pi­tal (CAH) is a hos­pi­tal cer­ti­fied to re­ceive cost-based re­im­burse­ment from Medi­care. This pro­gram is in­tended to re­duce hos­pi­tal clo­sures in ru­ral ar­eas, pro­motes a process for im­prov­ing ru­ral health care, and fo­cuses on com­mu­nity needs. CAHS must have a max­i­mum of 25 acute care in­pa­tient beds and pro­vide 24-hour emer­gency ser­vices, with med­i­cal staff on-site. CAHS must be lo­cated in a ru­ral area and be more than 35 miles from an­other hos­pi­tal, or 15 miles from an­other hos­pi­tal in moun­tain­ous ter­rain or ar­eas with only sec­ondary roads.

Photo cour­tesy

The North Coun­try Hos­pi­tal, in New­port, has made the top 100 list.

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