LHS Applies for State Rural Healthcare Sustainability Program

Recently, Lincoln Health System was asked by a media outlet, to comment on the State of Tennessee’s Rural Hospital Transformation Act. In 2018, this program was passed into law in recognition of other legislative actions that negatively impacted all rural hospitals in Tennessee. This has resulted in the closure of 11 hospitals closing since 2010. Interested hospitals were asked to complete an application to be considered to participate in the program. In the first two years, 10 hospitals will be selected to receive financial assistance in securing a third party consulting firm specializing in ensuring the viability of rural hospitals. LHS is in the process of completing our application which is due by May 10.
If LHS is chosen to participate, Navigant Consulting, which consults with hospitals on the national level, will compare our hospital to others throughout the nation of similar size and demographics. Using their experiences with other like facilities, the firm will develop a strategy to ensure Lincoln Health System’s success by identifying our strongest service lines and those most needed in our community. Once identified, strategies to ensure the viability of those services may include the closing of other service lines so as to focus resources on the community’s needs.
Many Tennessee hospitals have identified their OB departments as a non-essential service line, and, as a result, have closed those departments. However, Lincoln Medical Center is unique. Our OB department is self-sustaining, and therefore, not a drain on resources. Because LMC serves a disproportionate share of Medicaid patients (in relation to commercially insured patients) we receive periodic sums of money that supplement operations throughout the health system. Additionally, our eligibility to participate in the federally funded 340B drug pricing program depends on us continuing to serve this population of patients. Participation in the 340B program is financially advantageous to our health system in support of other service lines. Our OB department is vital to our continued operations.
While we cannot be certain of what our health system will evolve into over the course of the next several years, we do know that some change is inevitable. Our goal will be, as it has always been, to ensure essential health care services are available to the residents of Lincoln County. The support of our physicians, staff members, and the community at large will be crucial to our ongoing success.
About Lincoln Health System
Lincoln Health System (LHS) is a county-owned, non-profit health system located in Fayetteville, Tennessee. The health system’s humble beginnings began back in 1916 when the area’s all-female Alpha Kappa Club made it their mission to lobby for a much-needed hospital in Lincoln County. In less than 12 months, the vision became a reality and Lincoln County Hospital opened its doors on April 25, 1917. One hundred years later, Lincoln Health System is still serving the community. LHS consists of a 59-bed acute care hospital, an ambulance service, long-term care and skilled care facility, home health and hospice agency, and freestanding outpatient rehabilitation and wellness center. For more information about Lincoln Health System its facilities, medical services, and physicians, visit www.LincolnHealthSystem.com.

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