Blog

Strategic Marketing for Rural Hospitals

By Anne Block, VP of Marketing Communications for CHC

In today’s competitive healthcare market, rural and community hospitals are making do with less. Marketing resources are no exception. It’s not uncommon for smaller hospitals to lack a formal marketing communications function yet still engage in conventional and creative marketing activities. At other hospitals, marketing is one of multiple hats worn by a single person. Case in point: The public relations coordinator who handles marketing for Yoakum Community Hospital—a 23-bed critical access hospital in Yoakum, Texas—also serves as executive assistant and...


MORE >

Blog

Lessons for Leaders of Distressed Hospitals

GUEST BLOG

By Anthony Sudduth, CEO, Southwest Health System

Last year, Southwest Health System (SHS), in Cortez, Colorado, found itself in the midst of a significant financial crisis. The hospital had violated bond covenants associated with a $32 million building project, failing to meet the 80 days cash-on-hand requirement for four consecutive quarters. This violation triggered technical default, which could have led to bankruptcy and closure. Instead, SHS acted swiftly and decisively, becoming not a cautionary tale but a comeback story and an inspiration.

The SHS turnaround is a bright...


MORE >

Blog

Overseeing Without Overstepping: The Board’s Role in Hospital Operations

To what degree should boards be involved in the finances and operations of their hospitals? This is an important question, because effective hospital boards are clear on their roles and responsibilities. That role is hospital governance while management is the responsibility of the hospital leadership team. That means board members must focus on strategy and leave operations to hospital leadership. Yet, it’s not only appropriate but also imperative that board members understand the finances and operations of their hospital.

That means board members must discern the financial situation; education about...


MORE >

Blog

5 Ways Rural Hospitals Are Beating the Odds

Rural hospitals are critical to the communities they serve, but in many areas their role is changing. Demographics tell the story. Patients tend to be older, and many are uninsured. Populations are declining. The decreases result in fewer inpatient admissions, but they have not reduced the need for emergency care or primary care physicians. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 20% of the U.S. population is rural, but only 12% of primary care physicians are working in rural areas — and their numbers per capita are declining.

All of these...


MORE >

Blog

How to Improve Rural Healthcare Delivery

Rural and community hospitals are in a unique position to meet the healthcare needs of the communities they serve. They are also especially vulnerable to the types of challenges that significantly impact operations and long-term financial viability. To maintain or regain a position of strength, here are some tips for improving access to care and delivery of services.

Cater to Market Needs

Use market demographics and payer mix data to drive a strategic approach to new services and program offerings. These market-specific ideas have worked for CHC client hospitals:

Yoakum...

MORE >
Hospital Risk Management

Blog

Foundational Principles and Best Practices for Hospital Risk Management

When an effective hospital risk management program is in place, the most critical element—maintaining a culture focused on patient safety—is intangible. Safety culture is a shared belief among the entire hospital staff that safety is important, and a shared responsibility.

By definition, safety culture is part of organizational culture and is upheld by staff at all levels and in every department. Risk management is not just a clinical concern. Everyone contributes. Maintenance workers identify and remove trip hazards in and around the facility. Housekeeping plays a vital role in infection...


MORE >

Blog

Three Ways Rural Hospitals Can Reverse Financial Distress

Thin margins have long been a reality for most rural hospitals, but a worsening array of issues—from increasing charity care and bad debt to declining reimbursements and rural populations—have forced growing numbers of them into financial distress. Despite today’s challenging operating environment, many rural hospitals across the country are using a practical approach to get turned around before bankruptcy or closure become imminent threats.

Step 1: AWARENESS

Know the signs and symptoms of declining financial health

Certain financial indicators are clear signs that “business as usual” isn’t working and course...


MORE >

Blog

10 Ways to Improve Hospital Financial Performance Through Productivity Management

The transition to value-based care has required hospitals to improve patient experiences and outcomes, all at a lower cost. In this model, hospitals are responsible for the cost differential, so the urgency around hospital financial performance improvement has intensified. One of the biggest opportunities for hospitals is managing staff productivity, which means maintaining the right number and mix of all staff based on patient diagnoses and volume. Optimizing productivity is paramount because labor is usually the greatest expense for hospitals.

In CHC’s experience, almost every hospital has room to improve...


MORE >