Rural hospitals play a critical role for people living in rural communities. Not only do they provide much-needed healthcare services, but they also act as economic engines, creating jobs and supporting businesses.
Unfortunately, these rural hospitals remain at high risk of closing. According to a recent study by Navigant Consulting, 21 percent or 430 hospitals across 43 states are at high risk of closing unless their financial situations improve. A total of 95 rural hospitals across 26 states have closed since 2010, according to Navigant’s report.
When a community loses its hospital, the economic impacts are typically significant. A study published in Health Services Research found that when a rural hospital closes, per capita income falls 4 percent and the unemployment rate rises 1.6 percent.
LifeBrite Hospital Group is working to reduce those losses by acquiring previously closed or threatened facilities and then focusing on increasing cash flow and improving compliance and positive outcomes for patients.
LifeBrite Hospital Group, which currently operates rural hospitals in its home state of Georgia and in North Carolina, focuses on growing the business by adding more services and improving overall quality, said CEO Christian Fletcher. LifeBrite also implements innovative technology, such as electronic medical records (EMR) systems, which improve patient care as well as simplify the billing and claims processes.
LifeBrite Hospital Group focuses on the acquisition and rehabilitation of critical access hospitals. Critical access hospitals play a vital role in maintaining access to high-quality service health care services in rural communities. According to the American Hospital Association, critical access hospitals like LifeBrite provide care to millions of Americans living in vulnerable rural and urban communities.
In order to gain CAH designation a hospital must:
- Be 35 miles from another hospital.
- Have a 24-hour emergency room that operates seven days a week.
- Have a maximum of 25 inpatient beds for acute care or swing-bed services.
- Maintain an annual average length of stay of 96 hours or less for acute care patients.
Often these small hospitals also house or are tied to other community healthcare services such as institutional pharmacies; rural health clinics with visiting specialists and urgent care facilities; skilled nursing homes; and retirement apartments. LifeBrite is adept at managing all facets of rural healthcare, from clinics to administrative services, to acute care hospitals and long-term skilled care facilities.
When LifeBrite acquires a hospital, it brings its expertise in all areas of administration and patient care, including:
- Advertising and marketing services including websites, promotional material, classes and sponsorships to the companies and facilities it manages.
- Healthcare legal resources with decades of experience in healthcare permits and certification processes.
- Information systems to improve patient records and billing and claims processes.
- Access to capital needed to reopen, staff and grow previously closed hospitals.
Above all, LifeBrite brings a commitment to protecting and preserving rural hospitals and serving the members of those communities.
“We know how important it is to have quality healthcare in small rural communities. We want to do everything we can to ensure these hospitals thrive and continue to offer vital services that the residents in these communities need,” said Fletcher.
Atlanta-based LifeBrite Hospital Group, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Laboratories, and LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes. To learn more about LifeBrite Hospital Group, visit our homepage.