HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - April 23, 2008
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A Modest Approach
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
I hear plenty about the roadblocks that small community hospitals face when it comes to replacing or upgrading facilities. A dwindling population base, proximity to another hospital, a lack of staff physicians to increase volumes, a lack of community support—all of these factors can hinder a hospital's ability to secure financing. [Read More]
April 23, 2008
Editor's Picks

Louisiana hospital expands
St. Charles Parish Hospital in Luling, LA, will add an improved cardiology center, expanded intensive care, dialysis and medical surgical units, as well as an updated psychiatric unit at a cost of $14 million. The additions will only add 4 beds, but it should help the 56-bed hospital provide better services to the community while maintaining its eligibility for state and federal programs for small rural hospitals. [Read More]

New ICU boasts latest technology and staff-friendly design
Manchester (CT) Memorial Hospital is not only equipping its new intensive-care unit with updated technology, including overhead articulating arms that will house a new patient monitoring system, but it will also feature some staff-friendly design principles like ergonomically correct work spaces in each room and satellite nursing stations outside the critical-care rooms. I'm curious to know how much of an impact these types of design elements have on community hospitals' ability to recruit and retain highly sought after nurses and physicians. [Read More]

Coming to a shopping center near you
Neurosurgery is not just for academic medical centers anymore. In an effort to recapture market share and provide expanded services to its community, Butler (PA) Memorial Hospital opened the Back and Neck Center of Butler Memorial Hospital at the Butler Commons shopping complex, which also features a Target and Wal-Mart. The center, which is a partnership with Allegheny General Hospital, will enable Butler to perform an estimated 300 to 500 spine surgeries annually. Brain surgeries and other complex procedures will still be transferred to Allegheny. [Read More]

Hospitals need better standards
Even though the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will no longer pay hospitals to treat patients who develop certain infections and conditions while in their care, federal health agencies still haven't taken the additional steps needed to ensure hospitals reduce infections, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office. Medicare has established too few standards for hospitals, and they fail to provide direction on which practices are the most important for hospitals to follow, the GAO said. [Read More]

New facilities given the green light
Two hospitals have overcome regulatory hurdles and will break ground on their new facilities. Iowa's Story County Medical Center is moving forward with its replacement hospital after a lawsuit filed by Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield put the project on hold. In addition, the Lincolnton (NC) planning board has recommended a rezoning request that would allow Carolinas HealthCare System to build an $85 million, 101-bed hospital in Lincoln County.
Leaders Forum

Failure to Prepare for the Boomers is Risky
Contributor Edward M. Hindin discusses the aging population and what providers can do to prepare. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Minnesota healthcare changes spur access worries
Minneapolis Star Tribune - April 18, 2008
Medicare data should stay private, government says in appeal
Los Angeles Times - April 21, 2008
Former senators tackle health issues
AP/Yahoo News - April 17, 2008
"REACH" system provides healthcare to rural areas
NewsChannel 9 WSYR, (NY) - April 23, 2008
Clinics feel the strain as patient list grows and funding shrinks
Orlando Sentinel - April 17, 2008
Possible buyer emerges for Illinois hospital
Chicago Tribune - April 23, 2008
Violations found at North Carolina hospital
Raleigh News & Observer - April 17, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Faith in the Hospital
In a shifting healthcare world, faith-based systems face a new set of challenges in their quest to stay true to their mission. [Read More]
Community Call
Discussion Board
Each week, Community Call will pose a question to encourage community and rural hospital leaders to share success stories and best practices. This week's question is "Any suggestions on how to sustain long-term care programs at community hospitals?"
Audio Feature
Tips for Better Managed Care Contracting: In small community hospitals, negotiating managed care contracts is often just one more item piled on the chief financial officer's plate. Nathan Kaufman, the managing director and founder of Kaufman Strategic Advisors, offers advice and discusses the biggest mistakes that community hospitals make when it comes to negotiating managed care contracts. [Listen Now]