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Community Hospitals: Dying Breed or Community Cornerstone?
Date:7/21/2009

ATLANTA, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In the widespread discussion of universal health insurance and soaring medical costs, one of America's most cherished traditions -- the hometown community hospital -- has been largely forgotten.

Many analysts suggest that small community hospitals are especially vulnerable -- with smaller populations, limited services, and small medical staffs. Yet their value is unquestioned. A 2007 AHA study on The Economic Contribution of Hospitals documented the importance of hospitals to communities beyond healthcare, with each hospital job supporting two additional jobs, and goods and services purchased by hospitals creating additional economic value.

Yet while governmental attention focuses largely on cost controls and insurance for all, Atlanta- based Hospitalogic((TM)), a family of companies providing physician services, consulting and hospital management, is championing change to ensure their viability for future generations.

"Our vision is for financially successful community hospitals across America," says Hospitalogic CEO Jim Burnette. "We believe it is attainable by approaching the challenge differently."

Financial distress, rooted in the late 1990's when Medicare and commercial insurers systematically reduced prices paid to hospitals and physicians, turned the industry revenue model upside down, causing pressures. This transformation caused most hospitals to struggle, with nearly 80% having lost money at some point over the last 5 years.

Although propped up by such Federal programs as Critical Access Hospital reimbursement, reduced revenues and rising costs squeezed profits or caused losses for many -- triggering financial deterioration and hospital closures impacting hundreds of communities since 2000.

Viewing soaring costs and reduced reimbursements as symptoms rather than ca
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SOURCE Hospitalogic
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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