Community Hospital Corp. has formed a nonprofit organization to provide low- and no-cost consultations and viability assessments for financially troubled rural and community hospitals. Plano, TX-based Community Hospital Corp. has formed the Rural & ...

Nonprofit launch offers help to financially stressed rural hospitals. and more

Nonprofit launch offers help to financially stressed rural hospitals.

Community Hospital Corp. has formed a nonprofit organization to provide low- and no-cost consultations and viability assessments for financially troubled rural and community hospitals.

Plano, TX-based Community Hospital Corp. has formed the Rural & Community Healthcare Collaborative, which will make available no- and low-cost consulting services to troubled community and rural hospitals to assess their solvency and sustainability.

A 501(c)3 organization, RCHC is led by CHC CEO Emeritus Michael D. Williams.

The consultancy received seed funding of more than $50,000 this spring from CHC employees and supporters, and will now expand fundraising efforts across the nation. Williams spoke with HealthLeaders Media about RCHC, what it hopes to accomplish, and why it’s needed. The following is a lightly edited transcript.

Read the transcript on HealthLeaders Media. 



Webinar - Driving Individual and Population Health Improvements Using Data Analytics

Listen in on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 2 p.m. CT as Drs. Michael Miedema and Steven Bradley of the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn. answer questions on using hospital's data to drive strategy, systems change, risk assessment, and improved healthcare outcomes in rural communities.

Click here to register for the webinar.


OIG to review rural telehealth Medicare reimbursement

For what may be the first time, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently announced it would begin reviewing Medicare payments for telehealth services. Accordingly, providers who bill the Medicare program for telehealth services may expect to have those claims reviewed to confirm the patient was at an eligible originating site and that the statutory conditions for coverage were met. This review by the OIG highlights just one of the many unnecessary and burdensome restrictions currently placed on the provision of telehealth services and the patients who benefit.

[Read more from Nathaniel Lacktman here.]


Tuning into Telehealth: How TV White Spaces Can Help Mississippi Tackle the Diabetes Epidemic

There has been dramatic market shift in rural broadcasting. Since the early ‘90s, “bunny ear” attachments to television sets have been disappearing. This shift has especially impacted broadcasters due to more American eyeballs shifting towards other portals for access to quality programming. This phenomenon has led to an increased availability of unlicensed spectrum bands and an opportunity to utilize unused television white spaces (TVWS) for the overall benefit of the American populace. One such example is in the telehealth space. Alongside a national decline in TV viewership, the incidence of chronic diseases is on the rise in our country, especially in rural communities. Now, more than ever, it is time we use unlicensed spectrum in innovative ways to bring Americans the resources they truly need.

During today’s House Small Business Committee hearing on telehealth in rural communities, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) provided a powerful testimony on telehealth’s potential to address the chronic diseases that plague our country. UMMC is a member of ACT | The App Association’s Connected Health Initiative and from a state that leads the nation in heart disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. To combat these health issues, Mississippi has been a champion for telehealth, especially for its ability to address healthcare challenges in rural and remote parts of the state. But these telehealth benefits are only possible with meaningful solutions to rural broadband.

Despite alarming rates of diabetes, Mississippi only has 53 physicians per 100,000 people, painting a dire picture for the treatment of this otherwise manageable condition. In his testimony, UMMC Executive Director Michael Adcock argued that telehealth is an important way to reach Mississippians in need of lifesaving healthcare, and UMMC has used it to provide medical services to patients in 68 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.

The proof is in the sugar-free pudding. In 2015, UMMC established a pilot diabetes telehealth program, which provided 100 rural Mississippians suffering from diabetes with wirelessly-connected glucose monitors to manage their treatments. By wirelessly bringing their doctors and guidance to them, 96 percent of patients complied with their medications. Moreover, they saw a decrease in blood glucose levels among participants, and no diabetes-related hospitalizations throughout the pilot. The results of Mississippi’s diabetes telehealth pilot hold promise for the millions of Americans struggling with diabetes in rural communities. Yet, these benefits can only be realized if we close the digital divide, and we contend that re-purposing TVWS can help accomplish that goal.

As amplified by the interactive map below, the challenges rural Mississippians face in receiving access to healthcare are serious and shared by communities across the country. Yet without broadband, or the prospect of using unlicensed spectrum to bridge the digital divide, these innovative solutions are unavailable to the communities that need them most. We must put public resources like TVWS to good use, to ensure they can bring the greatest benefits to the Americans who need them most.

[via ACT Online]


Millions of Americans live nowhere near a hospital, jeopardizing their lives

As a nurse practitioner, Wanda Liddell knew it was a medical emergency when she saw one of her patients struggling to breathe last month. But in her backcountry town of Cross City, Florida, the ambulance took 30 minutes to arrive. Even worse, it was another 45 miles to the nearest hospital.

Liddell faces this situation often and always wonders, what if?

She is one of many medical providers working in towns 30 miles or more from a hospital, a distance that can make the difference between life or death.
The recent debates over the Affordable Health Care Act raised concerns that millions of Americans could lose access to health care. But already, there are many Americans who live in areas where critical-care services are lacking.

A recent study estimates that nearly 30 million Americans don't live within an hour of trauma care. And a CNN analysis found that residents living in 16% of the mainland United States are 30 miles or more away from the nearest hospital.

Dr. Jeremy Brown, director of the National Institute of Health's Office of Emergency Care Research, said treatments for heart attacks and strokes are most effective when done quickly.

"Every minute that you can get the patient into treatment sooner will represent some brain cells that are saved," he said.

In fact, the rate of accidental deaths -- adjusted for age -- was nearly 50% higher in rural versus urban areas from 1999 to 2015, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says distance to emergency rooms was a key factor.

[Read more on CNN


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