We focus on the economical delivery of the best possible healthcare and related services in the rural hospital market.
Rural populations have a great need for specialty physician services, reinforced in part by high rates of chronic disease often found in rural communities. According to the American Hospital Association, rural hospitals provide essential health care services to nearly 54 million people, including nine million Medicare beneficiaries. Shortages in workforce and rising health care liability premiums create ever-higher costs in these facilities. As these hospitals age and the demand for expensive IT systems increases, the lack of access to capital is a serious problem for these facilities.
Certain rural hospitals, including those owned by First Physicians Capital Group, are designated Critical Access Hospitals. A Critical Access Hospital is a federal designation that allows the hospital to bill Medicare for 101 percent of its outpatient, inpatient, laboratory, physical therapy and post-acute care costs. The critical access hospital program was designed to ensure access to emergency, primary and acute care in rural areas.
In 2006, there were approximately 1,300 critical access hospitals in the U.S. Most of those facilities:
- Are located more than a 35-mile drive from other hospitals
- Make available 24-hour emergency care
- Maintain no more than 25 inpatient beds
- Keep inpatients no longer than 96 hours