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Ky State Auditor Holds Public Hearings to Discuss Challenges Facing Rural Hospitals

Jul 25th, 2014

The office of the Kentucky State Auditor, Adam Edelen, announced that a series of public hearings will be held to discuss the fiscal health of rural hospitals.  The 10 hearings will be part of a study by the Auditor’s office that seeks to understand the challenges facing small, community hospitals that provide health care to 45 percent of Kentuckians and are key economic drivers in those communities.

“Rural hospitals are teetering on the edge of survival in many Kentucky communities,” Auditor Edelen said. “This is an effort to understand the degree to which our hospitals are in crisis and what might be done to save them.”

Staff members from Inspire Medical have participated in these meetings and will continue to do so.  We hear from the Hospital Administrators we serve, as well as the physicians working with us, that the challenges in rural health care delivery are changing.  Due to various factors, the payment for services provided is being reduced and its ultimate collection is becoming more tenuous; while at the same time our rural residents’ needs and demand for care is increasing.  The emergency department of a rural hospital is often the hub of the care delivery system where acute instances of injury or illness are referred from a local clinic, or nursing home to the ER and then to inpatient care or back to the nursing home or clinic for continued care.  Rural residents depend on their local ER.  It is important that the local rural hospital is able to continue to serve this need.

The Auditor’s office has held four public hearings to date.  All have been well attended by physicians, local officials, hospital administrators and board members, and representatives of local nursing homes, health departments, and hospice care.  Presentations by hospital CEOs, County Judge Executives and representatives of the Kentucky Hospital Association have been very informative to those in attendance as well as the State Auditor’s office.  Five additional public meetings are scheduled in Madisonville, Princeton, Leitchfield, Columbia and Campbellsville, Kentucky.  Inspire Medical will continue to participate in these meetings, and we encourage anyone with an interest in rural healthcare to attend. See the complete schedule of hearings here.

The Auditor’s office plans to issue a report this fall. 


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