The Howard Memorial Hospital in Nashville, Arkansas, recently received an award for achieving excellence in quality-driven performance measures for critical access hospitals (CAHs). One of only three hospitals in the state to receive the award, it was presented by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and AFMC. The presentation was made June 20 in Little Rock during the Annual Rural Health Conference, hosted by ADH and AFMC.
Debra J. Wright, CEO, says, “This is a tremendous honor for the employees, physicians and volunteers at Howard Memorial Hospital! These awards require a concerted effort by everyone to achieve the quality patient care outcomes required to be eligible for such an award. I am so pleased to have the privilege of working with such a high performance team of dedicated professionals and extend a personal “Thank You” to each person whose contributions made this award possible.”
Howard Memorial Hospital also received a certificate recognizing its commitment to quality as evidenced by successfully reporting 100 percent of quality measures during the annual reporting period. Only 13 of the 28 CAHs in Arkansas received this designation.
CAHs are small, rural facilities that provide limited outpatient and inpatient hospital services. The CAH designation was created to stem the trend of rural hospital closures during the 1980s-1990s. The goal was to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to health care by keeping essential health services available in rural communities. To accomplish this goal, CAHs receive cost-based reimbursement for Medicare services. They are reimbursed differently for their services, compared to acute care hospitals.