Pike County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) has been named one of the top 20 critical access hospitals in the nation by the National Rural Health Association.
The hospital will be given the award at an association conference in Kansas City in October.
PCMH is one of 1,267 critical access hospitals in the country. They are rural hospitals with 25 inpatient beds or less that have emergency rooms and are at least 35 miles from any other hospital.
Critical access hospitals receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare, instead of fixed-rate reimbursement that goes to most medical facilities, the association said.
The national distinction was a welcome reward to PCMH Chief Administrator Lorraine Harness and her staff.
“The board and I are so very proud of the care and services that we provide the community,” Harness
said. “We are excited about receiving the notice of being one of the top 20 critical care access hospitals in the country.
“Many critical access hospitals as well as larger hospitals are failing,” Harness said. “The support that the community chooses to provide PCMH has guaranteed its survival thus far and is the key to the future survival.”
The award was based on financial stability, patient perspectives, growth and competitive strength, according to the association.
“This honor is an objective, outside evalution of what PCMH is providing to the community,” Harness said. “We hope this is a boost to not only their confidence in PCMH, but also the thought that we have something special in the community that we need to protect.”
Board conservatism and staff dedication have allowed PCMH to maintain financial stability, Harness said.
“This does not mean that all is smooth sailing,” she added. “The challenges of increasing regulatory requirements, the changing healthcare landscape and consolidation will be significant. Survival will require the support of the community.”