Many rural health care organizations are fearful of exactly how The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will hurt them. As Terry Hill, executive director of the Rural Health Resource Center in Duluth, Minnesota said, “For the first time, rural hospitals are being forced into the pay for performance arena. That’s producing some pretty immense challenges. If the federal government wants to save the little guys, there will have to be some attempt to clean up the unintended consequences.”The health care reform laws provide for accountable care organizations (ACOs) which are supposed to reduce health care costs by integrating health care providers and services. However, critics of the initiative say that larger health care organizations have an advantage with this model. As Mike Youso, CEO of Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital in Grand Rapids, explained, “ACOs will manage health care populations and manage (cost) risk. But this will be a bigger challenge for the stand alone health care organization.”Rural health care facilities are facing a daunting task ahead. They need to think of the upfront costs for putting necessary infrastructure and personnel in place; in addition, they have been transitioning to using electronic medical records, which carries a large price tag.
Janice Marks – A retired nurse and home health care professional, Janice has written prolifically about the American health care system. As a writer for Left Justified focused on the current changes in the health care community, she weaves her professional background and expertise into her evaluation of the current health care issues facing the American government and people. Contact Janice at janicemarks(at)leftjustified.com.View all posts by Janice Marks →