New payment model designed to help rural hospitals financially

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Nearly half the rural hospitals in Pennsylvania are in the red and in danger of closing

Nearly half the rural hospitals in Pennsylvania are in the red and in danger of closing, but a new payment model is designed to shore them up financially by giving them more steady funding.

Three area hospitals will be taking part the new payment system that’s designed to help their bottom line.

Tyrone hospital, Punxsutawney Area Hospital and Chan-Soon Shiong Hospital in Windber are among eight hospitals in the state who just agreed to participate in the Pennsylvania Rural Health model.

Under the new model, they’ll get predictable amounts of money at specified times during the year.

“Instead of receiving payments when people are admitted to the hospital, they will receive payments, from payers, at critical times in their budget,” Senator Judy Ward said.

As part of the program, the hospitals are required to invest in preventative care and chronic disease management. They must also tailor their services to the needs of their communities.

Ward says keeping hospitals like the ones in Tyrone, Punxsutawney, and Windber strong keeps the community as a whole strong.

“They’re economic drivers for their communities,” Ward said. “They also provide very much needed medical care in rural areas.”

The money will kick into the rural hospitals at the beginning of 2020.

After one year of the Rural Health Model, local and state political leaders will talk about adding more hospitals to the model.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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