Western N.Y. fa­cil­ity to be­come lat­est ru­ral hos­pi­tal ca­su­alty

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Beth Kutscher

On Aug. 29, East­ern Ni­a­gara Health Sys­tem will end in­pa­tient ser­vices at its 71-bed hos­pi­tal in New­fane, N.Y., the first hos­pi­tal in New York to close this year. Ten ru­ral hos­pi­tals al­ready have shut their doors this year, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Ru­ral Health As­so­ci­a­tion.

Two-hos­pi­tal East­ern Ni­a­gara, which also has a 134-bed fa­cil­ity nine miles away in Lock­port, N.Y., said it can no longer af­ford to of­fer in­pa­tient ser­vices at both sites given that it faces de­clin­ing in­pa­tient vol­ume. It will con­tinue to op­er­ate its 24-hour emer­gency depart­ment in New­fane as well as dial­y­sis, lab­o­ra­tory, phys­i­cal ther­apy and most ra­di­ol­ogy ser­vices.

Not-for-profit East­ern Ni­a­gara blamed a num­ber of fac­tors for re­duced vol­ume, in­clud­ing the CMS’ con­tro­ver­sial two-mid­nights rule that has meant more overnight ob­ser­va­tion stays at the hos­pi­tal have been billed at lower Medi­care out­pa­tient rates. The growth of high-de­ductible in­sur­ance plans also has caused pa­tients to de­lay care, sys­tem of­fi­cials said.

Ru­ral hos­pi­tals across the coun­try have strug­gled to adapt to the post-health­care re­form en­vi­ron­ment. Many, for in­stance, lack the size and scale to par­tic­i­pate in al­ter­na­tive pay­ment and de­liv­ery mod­els such as ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The Na­tional Ru­ral Health Re­source Cen­ter last week in­tro­duced an on­line tool­kit for crit­i­cal-ac­cess hos­pi­tals on pop­u­la­tion health man­age­ment to help them make the tran­si­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.