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Blue Mountain Hospital Wins National Critical Access Hospital Award - Medically Speaking, Volume One, Number Three, 9/12/13

Blue Mountain Hospital wins National Critical Access Hospital Award

Blue Mountain Hospital, in Blanding, has been selected to receive a national award for demonstrating excellence and innovation in the area of community engagement.

The Critical Access Hospital Recognition Award was established by The National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center), and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP). It recognizes the excellent work in critical access hospitals (CAH) throughout the country. The recognition Promotes excellence and innovation, and honors the achievements and results of critical access hospitals, while publicizing successful strategies.

"Blue Mountain Hospital has achieved so many remarkable accomplishments, and over a relatively short period of time," said Greg Rosenvall coordinator for Utah's Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (FLEX) Program. "Current leadership has changed the direction of the entity in a very positive way. The vision of the organization is founded in always doing what is best for the patient and community. They are making continual improvement in all areas of healthcare, including meeting the specific needs of the communities they serve. This is a well deserved recognition for all associated with Blue Mountain Hospital."

This year 16 critical access hospitals were nominated for recognition throughout the United States, but only five received the award. Along3e with Blue Mountain Hospital, the other four CAHs receiving the award are Granite County Medical Center in Montana, Ellenville Regional Hospital in New York State, Mason District Hospital in Illinois, and Decatur County Memorial Hospital in Indiana.

Blue Mountain Hospital was honored for its commitment to engage and communicate with the patients, partners, and the communities it serves. The (The Center) recognized Blue Mountain Hospital for demonstrating excellence and/or innovation in meeting several specific measures of health-related criteria. Some of these criteria include:

  1. Initiatives for improving population health with documented outcomes;
  2. Leadership in engaging and communicating with patients, partners, and/or the community;
  3. Establishing a method for evaluating patient satisfaction, such a Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), and incorporating resulting data into projects planning;
  4. Establishing partnerships with other organizations that serve a similar population and/or have similar goals.

"This year's recipients embody both outstanding commitment to their communities and meaningful innovation," said Terry Hill, Executive Director of The Center. "They demonstrate that rural hospital can lead the way in the rapidly changing health care industry. Health care delivered in rural communities is affordable, high quality, and necessary to the good health of the entire community."

"Our organization exists to meet the needs of the community, so naturally we must engage the community to discover what those needs are, to notify them of the services we offer that meet those needs, and to seek feedback and data to measure the results of our programs and services," said Blue Mountain Hospital's CFO Jeremy Lyman. "We are humbled to receive this recognition and hope to continue to foster strong relationships with our patient, the local community, and our partners in the healthcare delivery system."

The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program was authorized by section 4201 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA), Public Law 105-33. The Flex program provides funding to States for the designation of critical access hospitals (CAHs) in rural communities. Critical Access Hospital designation allows the hospital to be reimbursed on a reasonable cost basis for inpatient and outpatient services (including lab and qualifying ambulance services) provided to Medicare patients.

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