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CHC launches new hospital collaborative aimed at saving financially struggling rurals

New charity organization will offer no- and low-cost consulting services to troubled community hospitals.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Consulting and management firm Community Hospital Corporation has launched a charity organization dedicated to raising funds for struggling rural hospitals confronting financial survivability. Called the Rural & Community Healthcare Collaborative, the new charity organization will offer no- and low-cost consulting services to troubled community hospitals, the organization said in a statement.

Michael D. Williams, who is the President and CEO Emeritus of CHC, will also serve as President and CEO Emeritus of the new Collaborative.

CHC formed in 1996 with the goal of helping community hospitals "deliver quality care, maintain financial health, and serve as a community's health resource."

[Also: Rural hospitals struggling, serving populations with many health disparities, report finds]

They said hospitals that are struggling financially get caught in a vicious cycle of distress and may not be able to afford the outside services that could help them turn things around.this puts them at risk of closure.

Those issues often include declining reimbursements, higher costs, challenging payer mix, remote location and small size and recruiting/retainment issues. These issues make smaller facilities more vulnerable to governmental policy and market changes, RCHC said.

[Also: GOP Medicaid cuts target rural Americans most, according to new report]

Part of RCHC's services includes the Healthy Hospital Report Card, a screening tool that uses public data to indicate if a hospital is sustainable in its current state or at risk for closure. It also highlights areas where the facility is performing well or needs help.

"Today, more hospitals are at a higher risk for closure," said Williams. "We believe that hospitals should not be forced to close if they have the potential to succeed with the right help."

Twitter: @BethJSanborn

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