Today is National Rural Health Day. On this day, our team at Signature Performance is celebrating the rural communities of America. These communities play such a pivotal role in the success of what makes the American dream something to be sought after. National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to recognize the community-oriented attitude that is so prevalent and contagious in our local rural areas.
Despite the positive aspects of what draws 60 million individuals to call these rural areas home, such as the comradery, environment, and a lower cost of living, residents and surrounding community members are also faced with complex challenges. Accessibility to a local healthcare system is constantly being threatened in these communities. Since 2010, 119 rural hospitals have closed across the country and 47% of the remaining facilities are currently facing slim or negative operating margins, according to a recent article in Modern Healthcare written by Chip Kahn and Alan Morgan.
Being able to provide high-quality healthcare is an essential aspect of survival within rural communities. The financial stress rural hospitals and clinics face can make it difficult to attract and retain new physicians and talent. Depending on the severity of the financial situation, being able to keep specialty healthcare options, such as OBGYN care, or keeping their doors open at all can prove to be impossible at times. When rural hospitals or clinics are forced to close their doors, it can have a devastating effect on the community they serve and can quickly lead to economic withdrawal within a particular area.
“Rural hospitals often serve as anchor institutions that attract physicians, specialists and families to live in rural areas,” according to Kahn and Morgan. “Hospital closures are also causing complications in emergency situations. When seconds count, ambulances are being forced to transport patients longer distances; this takes extra time, which a patient may not have.”
At Signature Performance, we take great pride in serving rural communities so they can provide a premier experience for their patients and thrive for years to come. We are dedicated to making a lasting impact in the nexus of healthcare by inhabiting the payer, provider, federal and community healthcare sectors. We believe the healthcare industry in the United States deserves only the best, and that sentiment is what motivates our dedicated teams to do their very best each and every day.
Chris Vairo is the Chief Revenue Officer at Signature Performance Inc., in Omaha, NE. Signature Performance is an industry leader in reducing healthcare administration costs for private and public healthcare sectors. Our unmatched experience in serving both the payer and provider side of healthcare financial management allows us to implement innovative solutions for every administrative demand.