Higgins General Hospital Among Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in Nation for Financial Stability
Posted Date: 6/9/2014
Higgins General Hospital in Bremen, part of Tanner Health System, is one of the nation’s top critical access hospitals for financial stability, according to the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).
The rankings, compiled by iVantage Health Analytics, took into account the hospital’s performance based on its percentile rank on a set of balance sheet and income statement financial ratios, according to the NRHA. Higgins General Hospital was the only critical access hospital in Georgia to make the Top 20 ranking.
“Financial stability is a rare trait among rural hospitals, especially in Georgia,” said Michael Alexander, administrator of Higgins General Hospital. “But having a reliable financial situation is how we can ensure that high-quality care remains available to the residents of Haralson County, right here in Bremen.”
According to the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA), Georgia’s hospitals face major financial challenges. More than a third — 38 percent — of hospitals in the state had a negative operating margin for 2011, the latest year for which statewide data is available, and 55 percent of Georgia’s rural hospitals lost money.
The state’s rising uninsured population, as well as an unsteady health insurance market, is at least partially to blame for the plight of many of Georgia’s hospitals. Two rural hospitals—Stewart Webster Hospital in Richland and Calhoun Memorial Hospital in Arlington, were forced to close last year due to financial reasons.
The accolade is only the most recent for Higgins General Hospital, which has been named the No. 1 critical access hospital in Georgia the past two years by Georgia Trend magazine and is among the top hospitals on the GHA’s Quality Honor Roll for 2014. iVantage has twice named Higgins General Hospital to its HealthStrong Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals, in 2012 and 2013. It was the only Georgia hospital included on the HealthStrong listing in either year.
“Being part of a larger regional health system like Tanner is a key to our hospital’s continued success,” said Alexander. “It provides for economies of scale in purchasing the supplies we need and it ensures that we’ll be able to invest in new technologies to remain on the leading edge of patient care. In the ever-changing healthcare environment, hospitals are penalized financially by payers, like Medicare and Medicaid, for lapses in patient care. However, well-performing hospitals like ours have the opportunity to benefit from higher reimbursement rates for delivering the right care at the right time and reducing readmissions, which actually lowers the overall cost of care.”
NRHA is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the health and wellbeing of rural Americans and provides leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. NRHA’s membership includes 21,000 diverse individuals and organizations. More information on NRHA is available online at www.ruralhealthweb.org.
Higgins General Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital serving Bremen and Haralson County. It offers 24-hour emergency care, inpatient care, minimally invasive surgical services, state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services, critical care services, an innovative swing bed program for patients who need more time to recover from a surgery or trauma, a wide range of specialist services and more. For more information on Higgins General Hospital or to find a physician serving Haralson County, visit www.tanner.org or call 770.214.CARE (2273).