Tak­ing is­sue with list

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS LETTERS -

Ifound the list of “Most prof­itable crit­i­calac­cess hos­pi­tals” (Dec. 19/26, 2011, p. 32) and a fol­low-up let­ter to the ed­i­tor (Jan. 9, p. 23) very mis­lead­ing. The hospi­tal I work for, Ad­vo­cate Eureka Hospi­tal, was listed as the sixth most prof­itable hospi­tal, with a net in­come of $12.9 mil­lion.

I was shocked to see AEH’S name on the list with such a large amount of net in­come. I have worked at AEH for 25 years. Many years we end with a net loss; in for­tu­nate years, a small amount of net in­come. Our hospi­tal’s net in­come for fis­cal 2009 was $257,200.

In my fol­low-up con­ver­sa­tions with the staff at IMS Health (the source of the data), we dis­cov­ered that the net in­come listed on the re­port came from our hospi­tal sys­tems’ con­sol­i­dated bal­ance sheet. In fis­cal 2009, our hospi­tal was part of Bromenn Health­care in Nor­mal, Ill. This sys­tem in­cluded a much larger acute-care hospi­tal, a home health agency and nu­mer­ous joint ven­tures.

I dis­pute the opin­ion that once a crit­i­calac­cess hospi­tal be­comes part of a larger sys­tem, it is no longer crit­i­cal to the ru­ral com­mu­nity and be­comes a feeder to the larger sys­tem. We not only pro­vide ex­cel­lent lo­cal health­care, but also em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and eco­nomic stim­u­lus. Be­ing a part of a larger sys­tem helps strengthen our abil­ity to serve the lo­cal com­mu­nity. If the CMS then re­moves the crit­i­calac­cess hospi­tal des­ig­na­tion, even for hos­pi­tals that are part of a sys­tem, I have a feel­ing you will see sev­eral crit­i­cal-ac­cess hospi­tal clo­sures. Anna M. Laible

Ad­min­is­tra­tor Ad­vo­cate Eureka Hospi­tal

Eureka, Ill.

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