Franklin, TN – September 13, 2023 – MEDHOST®, a leading healthcare technology solutions provider, is excited to announce a successful partnership with Blue Ridge Medical Center (previously known as Fannin Regional Hospital) in meeting the requirements for Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation.
The designation of Rural Emergency Hospital was established by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. It is meant to create better access to outpatient medical services for people in rural communities who may not have access to full-service hospitals. As of January 2023, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and rural hospitals with 50 beds or fewer may apply for this designation and receive Medicare funds for the emergency services they provide.
Recently, MEDHOST launched its REH package with the goal of aiding rural hospitals like Blue Ridge Medical Center in maintaining operations and providing vital services to their communities despite financial challenges.
Effective July 2023, Blue Ridge Medical Center will make the shift to delivering 24/7 emergency medical services, patient observation, and select outpatient services under the new designation.
“By becoming a Rural Emergency Hospital, we’re taking a fresh approach to addressing the healthcare needs of our community,” said Bappa Mukherji, Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ridge Medical Center. “This model will help ensure that our patient population can access emergency and critical outpatient services while we stabilize the financial condition of the hospital.”
In 2022, Blue Ridge Medical Center, deeply concerned about mounting financial difficulties, turned to MEDHOST for a solution. The result was a tailored offering that combined application management, clinical informatics, and subject matter expertise with MEDHOST's suite of industry-leading solutions, including the REH Package, Perioperative Experience, and Anesthesia Experience.
“By outsourcing some of its workloads to MEDHOST’s MEDTEAM application management and revenue cycle services, hospitals can focus on critical aspects of their operations, such as laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy services,” said Bill Anderson, CEO at MEDHOST. “In the case of Blue Ridge Medical Center, MEDHOST provided support and resources to help it operate efficiently as an REH, allowing the hospital to remain open and continue serving its community.”
MEDHOST is dedicated to supporting rural hospitals and equipping them with the tools and resources needed for success. The REH package is just one way MEDHOST is fulfilling this mission.
The benefits of becoming an REH include a 5 percent premium to the standard Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System payment for covered services in addition to a monthly facility fee. The monthly facility fee is determined annually based on the average Critical Access Hospital reimbursement. Currently, the estimated facility fee is approximately $275,000 per month.
If you're wondering if your facility is eligible for conversion, it will need to meet certain requirements, including the following federal criteria: be a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) or a rural hospital with no more than 50 beds that was established and open on December 27, 2020, and have a transfer agreement with a level I or level II trauma center. Qualification is also subject to applicable state requirements.
MEDHOST's commitment to rural hospitals doesn't end here. Visit their website to learn more about how MEDHOST can assist in the REH transition process and the various ways they're helping rural hospitals like Blue Ridge Medical Center stay operational and serve their communities.
For over 35 years, MEDHOST has provided products and services to healthcare facilities of all types and sizes. Today, healthcare facilities nationwide partner with MEDHOST to enhance patient care and operational excellence with our clinical and financial solutions, including an integrated EHR solution. MEDHOST offers a comprehensive emergency department information system with business and reporting tools. Through unparalleled support and cloud platform solutions, we make it easy for healthcare facilities to focus on what's important: their patients and business. Connect with MEDHOST on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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