Rural hospitals face new uncertainties after health care reforms start

Capital News Service
LANSING — With health care reform falling into place, rural Michigan hospitals can now breath a sigh of relief, and then start a new waiting game. The slow recovery from the recession and the struggle for healthcare reform hit rural hospitals in Michigan, and across the country, hard, said Ethan Lipkind, CEO and president of Michigan Rural Healthcare Preservation and the Michigan Clinic. The first week of April marked the close of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act and the effective date of Medicaid expansion in Michigan. And with the economy starting to rise out of recession, Michigan rural hospitals are waiting to see just what the changes will mean. “Overall, I would say it’s a declining industry,” Lipkind said.

Michigan hospitals score big in national rankings

Capital News Service
LANSING – Eight Michigan hospitals were ranked among the top 100 in the nation, based on new a study, including ones in Grayling, Holland, Southfield and Greenville. Truven Health Care Analytics, the company that conducted the study, analyzes nationwide Medicare data in an effort to improve health care. Jean Chenoweth, Truven’s senior vice president, said the list is intended to recognize health care facilities that best serve their local communities. “The key is developing and maintaining a hospital-wide culture of excellence that cuts across everything, from patient care to housekeeping to administration, and the refusal to rest when it comes to adopting new technologies and techniques,” Chenoweth said. The annual study looks at one year’s worth of Medicare data, comparing statistics that include morality rates, complications, patient safety, profitability, patient ratings and readmissions.