The nation's health care systems are in transition. And while hospitals across the country are grappling with changes to payment systems and quality measures, the tiniest hospitals in rural areas must work even harder to keep up. In Iowa, the rural health care system is made up of 82 Critical Access Hospitals — a special Medicare designation for smaller 25-bed facilities — and 142 rural health clinics, making it one of the largest rural health systems in the country, said Gloria Vermie, director of the State Office of Rural Health Director, which is part of the Iowa Department of Public Health. These facilities care for the more than 1.4 million people — or about 46 percent of the state's population — living in a rural community and are vital economic drivers in the communities they serve.
Source: The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette
Posted on: January 19, 2015