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Click here to access our latest White Paper highlighting the challenges facing rural healthcare providers and how Healthland is advocating for them.
Rural community hospitals, clinics and health centers play a central role in delivering primary care to family, friends and neighbors in their regions. This is why, for the past 30 years, Healthland has been the only EHR provider that’s 100% committed to rural hospitals and their communities. We advocate on behalf of our clients, both locally and in Washington, D.C., to ensure they continue to thrive in today’s challenging healthcare environment.
Rural hospitals are an economic engine for rural communities:
Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report (OEI-05012-00080) entitled “Most Critical Access Hospitals Would Not Meet the Location Requirements if Required to Re-Enroll in Medicare,” which is creating a great deal of concern to Critical Access Hospitals (CAH).
If recommendations in the report were to be implemented, nearly two-thirds of CAHs, those that are 15 or fewer miles away from their nearest hospital, could lose their status, and for some states this could mean as many as 70 percent of their critical access hospitals would lose Medicare and beneficiary funds. This would lead to huge voids in access to healthcare in rural America.
For those CAHs at risk, we encourage you to contact your Representatives in Congress, urging them to sign a letter to be sent to Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. Click here more information and resources.
On Thursday, June 20th, the eHealth Initiative (eHI) in collaboratation with the HIMSS Foundation’s Institute for e-Health Policy hosted a Capitol Hill briefing entitled: “Issues and Opportunities Toward Interoperable EHRs for Rural and Underserved Healthcare Organizations.” With approximately 80 attendees, including Hill staffers, policy fellows and eHI members; the goal of the briefing was to provide an overview and opportunity for discussion on health disparities and the use of health information technology (IT) in rural and underserved communities.
As the only EHR vendor panelist, Healthland described independent rural hospitals as being very integrated, personal, local, and cost-effective. We explained that rural hospitals are typically the largest employer in the communities they serve and thus serve as the economic engine for rural communities. We acknowledged both external challenges (regulatory and reform, funding shifts, poorer health demographics) and internal realities (overwhelming pace of change, unknown financial impact, physician shortages, limited IT departments) facing rural hospitals today. Concluding the presentation, Healthland identified two necessary changes to help address these challenges: 1) Extend the attestation timeline for Meaningful Use Stage 2; and 2) Focus on standards development for interoperability.
On May 23, 2013, Healthland and American HealthTech (AHT) participated in the Healthy Aging Forum, hosted by the Senate Special Committee on Aging. This invitation-only event included more than two dozen thought leaders across the healthcare landscape, to educate and inspire our nation’s lawmakers with the latest innovations in healthcare.
We were joined by high-tech leaders like GE and Microsoft; major healthcare networks like Aetna, Humana and United Health Group; and national organizations like the Institute for e-Health Policy, American Healthcare Association (AHCA), National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care (NASL), National Institute on Aging (NIA) and Veterans Administration (VA), National Association for Homecare & Hospice (NAHC), The Alzheimer’s Association, and many more.
The event took place in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room. Healthland and American HealthTech took the opportunity to introduce our two companies, now one – and promote the vision we have for creating healthy communities with population health management solutions with a single electronic health record across a continuum.
Healthland regularly calls on legislators and policymakers in Washington, DC, to keep them informed of the challenges and opportunities facing rural healthcare providers. In part due to our efforts with the NRHA, Senators Klobuchar and Moran introduced Senate Resolution 26 (read the full resolution) outlining why a strong federal investment is essential to protect rural patients’ access to local care. We encourage you to call, email, Facebook or Tweet your own state senators today. It’s a great opportunity to echo our long-standing company belief: the critical care given by rural health care providers and the economic contributions of rural hospitals, doctors, clinics and EMS providers are vital to the strength and viability of rural communities.
The deal to avert the fiscal cliff will impact rural hospitals. This webinar featuring policy experts from the National Rural Health Association and McDermott Will & Emery examines the legislation and what it means for rural providers. Read the report Watch the webinar Get the presentation