070-411Exam Answers - Microsoft 700-505 700-501 648-232: Cisco WebEx Solutions Design and Implementation 640-911 070-462 3I0-012 070-463 RCDD-001Exams - Free VCE Exams For All 070-685 C2020-703 070-688 100-105 070-480 350-018 Sale Best Microsoft070-346Study Material, 070-346 Brain Dumps 117-202 070-412 200-120 117-201 600-199 070-410 M70-201 Latest JN0-643 Questions - JNCIP-ENTJN0-643Certification 70-470 642-887 300-360 300-370 117-101 070-417 Preparing for MTA Exam98-367 200-101 4A0-100 070-347 70-331 70-411 400-101 C9530-404 Pass CISCO300-115 exam - test questions 70-417 1Z0-060 C2090-930 E20-690 642-747 300-101 Cisco 300-206 Practice - Certification Practice Questions 642-732 642-883 200-105 400-351 H12-211 70-417 70-410 70-243 Cisco CCNP Security300-207SITCS: SITCS Welcome 100-101 70-412 4A0-107 352-001 70-487 70-413 Just failed CCNA Security210-260- 96699 - The Cisco Learning Network SY0-401 200-125 300-320 200-310 CISSP PMP 300-075 210-065 210-060 70-534Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification 70-532 EX200 1Z0-803 210-451 HP0-S42 70-461 HP HP0-S41 Dumps | HP0-S41 Exam Questions - Free Try 640-916 N10-006 EX300 1Z0-434 C_HANAIMP151 Pass SAP C_TAW12_740 exam - test exam - convert vce to pdf AWS-SYSOPS 70-346 2V0-620 300-070 C_HANATEC151 E05-001 JN0-360 2V0-641 Leading Provider on Cisco 642-999 Practice Questions 70-697 300-208 FC0-U51 PW0-071 C_GRCAC_10 IIA-CIA-PART3 Best Cisco 500-260 test Study Guides C_HANAIMP142 98-366 1Z0-047 70-496 70-533 Cisco 810-403 Practice - Certification Practice Questions and Answers 642-998 JN0-343 642-742 220-802 70-486 642-035 Latest JN0-692 Exam Questions and Answers 1Z0-470 CAS-002 PGMP 1Z0-051 156-215.77 102-400 70-696 SK0-004 101-400 Notes for taking the 1Z0-061 Oracle Exam ADM-211 642-996 400-051 70-646 Latest 1z0-574 Questions - Java and Middleware 1Z0-574 Certification 74-343 700-039 1Z0-435 1Y0-401 1Y0-201 CCNA Wireless 200-355 Official Cert Guide 74-344 300-135 712-50 070-496 C2090-311 300-080 640-875 AX0-100 IBM Certified Specialist c2020-701, Best IBM C2020-701 mb6-702 Mercy Health Love County - News

Citizens Petition Lawmakers About Rural Hospitals

Posted on Friday, August 21st, 2015


Health Education - Marietta Mayor Jerry Cochran and others
conduct an assessment of health services and health needs
in Love County during July and August.

Rural Hospitals Under Study - Richard Barker, right,
administrator of Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, welcomes
rural health consultants Corrie Kaiser, Nichole Nielson, and
Lara Brooks during a citizen-led assessment of the county's
health services and health needs.

A group of citizens completed a triennial assessment of health services and health needs in Love County on August 11. Among their findings:

Local Health Care Liked

Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic and EMS is highly regarded, with 9 out of 10 patients reporting satisfaction with the care received. The ratings were gleaned from a written survey conducted during the assessment.

The overall results among 215 patients surveyed was a 94 percent favorability rating for the doctors, family nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, and 91.5 percent for the hospital overall.

Financial Health Threatened

While the hospital currently has no short- or long-term debt, the assessment group was worried about the future of local medical care. Reduced reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid are the major issues.

As its first priority, the group wrote to local area representatives in the U.S. Congress and the Oklahoma Legislature appealing for actions in relief of rural hospitals.

The letter asks Congress to lift the federal budget sequestration that has been in effect since 2013. Sequestration has reduced Medicare cost reimbursements for rural "critical access" hospitals to 99 percent from the statutory rate of 101 percent.

That means the hospital stands to lose money instead of make a marginal amount sufficient to stay open, as the law intended, when serving Medicare patients.

"How many times can we sustain such a loss and still upgrade our hospital and keep the quality going?" asked Richard Barker, hospital administrator. He is the state's longest-tenured hospital administrator, with 25 years of experience.

During the assessment, a news report in the Oklahoman stated that more than half (56 percent) of Oklahoma's rural hospitals operated at a financial loss in the last five years.

Barker said the local hospital's financial success to date stemmed from careful budgeting of county tax money and other income sources and benefiting from contractual arrangements for services with area healthcare partners, including the Chickasaw Nation and Mercy Health System.

The letter also asks the Oklahoma Legislature to accept federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid (Soonercare) in Oklahoma. Expansion of Medicaid would put more low-income patients in a position to pay for their medical care from the hospital and clinic.

"These federal funds are taxes we have already paid to the government as citizens, and we need to bring them back to Oklahoma to insure low-income patients and keep the hospital alive," Yvone McGinnis said in support of the petition.

Oklahoma has been eligible for two years to receive the federal dollars for Medicaid expansion, but the Oklahoma Governor and Legislature have so far refused to act.

Federal funds would cover 100 percent of the cost of expansion initially and taper off gradually to 90 percent of the annual costs by 2020, with the state paying the 10 percent balance.

Among patients already enrolled in Soonercare, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has not been reimbursing rural hospitals for care received during skilled nursing or "swing bed" stays. This departure from the norm has created an area of uncompensated care, Barker said.

McGinnis, retired lead nurse of the Love County Health Department, said all Oklahomans should care whether rural hospitals are forced out of business, because their lives can depend on a hospital's survival.

"If you have a stroke or a serious car accident in Love County, the emergency care you receive here in Marietta can make the difference in life and death," she said.

Population Health

The health needs assessment group recommended a summer feeding program for children and segmented health education for children, adults, and seniors. They expressed concerns about the evidence of poor nutrition in children ad the early onset of chronic, preventable diseases.

Statistics presented to the group showed the leading cause of death in the county is heart disease, followed by cancer and respiratory disease. In overall health, Love County's population ranks 63rd among the state's 77 counties.

Health Care a Big Business

The health sector of the county provides direct and indirect employment to 310 people, with an economic impact to the community of more than $17,000,000 per year, the assessment group learned.

Nonprofit hospitals conduct a health needs assessment every three years. The last such assessment in Love County was in 2012.

Guiding the assessment were consultants Lara Brooks and Corrie Kaiser form the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health, along with Nicole Nielson from the OSU Center for Rural Health.

Assessment participants met four times in July and August to complete their study.

Participants included Lawrence Anderson, Connie Barker, Richard Barker, Carla Bolton, Sam Barrick, Ron Bond, Wayne Bond, Michelle Clift, Alice Cochran, Jerry Cochran, Lindsey Cox, Vickie Crossland, Danny Dvorak, Linda Ehrhardt, Daren Flanagan, Charlene Frazier, Jimmie Frazier, Connie Graham, Marty Grisham, Sue Hambrick, Bruce Hammond, Janeane Hartman, Media Hicks, Colleen Hobbs, Kimberly Honeycutt, Linda Hyman, Sheila Isenberg, Ron Jacobs, Margie King, Jesse Kirk, Joyce Kirk, Misti Kirk, Eyvonna Lemons, Michele Lively, KorDale Lornes, Paulette Manning, Randi McCann, Yvone McGinnis, Dale McMillin, Sara Metcalf, Lenna Radde, Shelly Russell, Helen Ryan, Jolene Saum, Barbara Sessions, Don Sessions, Pat Sheehan, Tracey Smithwick, Brandi Straka, Betty Sue Tow, Becky Watkins, Lacy Westfall, Carolyn Willis, Van Willis, and Tammy Young.

Click here to read the final report for the 2015 assessment.