Rural Hospitals Band Together for Insurance-Buying Power

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , January 11, 2012

There's buying power in numbers, and rural Texas hospitals are looking to capitalize on that power.

The Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH) has launched a new campaign to raise awareness among its 150 members about its insurance program. Low insurance premiums can be difficult to come by for small, rural hospitals. But that changes when hospitals band together to buy their insurance, says David Pearson, TORCH president and CEO.

"From an actuarial standpoint they appear a little larger, therefore they hopefully can get a little better deal out of the carriers," he tells HealthLeaders Media.

But beyond simply encouraging members to participate in TORCH's insurance program, Pearson also points to another function of the awareness campaign: To encourage a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to buying insurance. And that's something that all hospitals should pay attention to. Unlike with car insurance, there are no smart-mouthed geckos reminding hospitals to review their policies.

"Just like not having your auto insurance looked at for a period of years, if you don't do that every so often, you're probably spending more than you need to on insurance than your facility needs," Pearson says.

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