Medina Memorial secures designation as Critical Access Hospital

Staff Reports Posted 23 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Medina Memorial Hospital has been designated a Critical Access Hospital, which will boost the Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates.

MEDINA – Medina Memorial Hospital has received “Critical Access Hospital” designation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which will boost the reimbursement rates for the hospital.

The Critical Access Hospital program is a reimbursement status that allows a certified hospital to receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare, and is intended to boost the financial strength of the hospitals, Medina officials said in a statement this afternoon.

The designation could lead to grant money for Medina Memorial through the Flex Program, which provides grants to states to implement a Critical Access Hospital program. This is a method for promoting strength and longevity, encouraging the development of rural health networks, assisting with quality improvement efforts, and improving rural emergency medical services, Medina Memorial/Orleans Community Health officials said in a news release today.

“Lower patient volumes, higher expenses and changes in reimbursement are affecting hospitals of all sizes across the region and country,” the hospital said in the statement. “Achieving Critical Access Hospital status is one of the significant strategic planning steps taken by Orleans Community Health to address these challenges and ensure the long-term success of the hospital.”

Critical Access Hospitals are certified under a different set of Medicare “Conditions of Participation,” a set of stringent health measures designed to regulate how hospitals and other medical establishments utilize Medicare aid, hospital leaders said.

Every health-care facility that receives reimbursement for Medicare related costs must adhere to the guidelines specified by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These rules make sure that all patients receive a minimum standard of health service, which is the right of every beneficiary.

The first step in achieving this status was for Medina Memorial to successfully complete an accreditation survey by Det Norske Veritas, an accrediting body that assures policies and practices are in place to meet patient safety and quality guidelines. Det Norske Veritas then sent the results of the survey to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which approved the Critical Access Hospital designation.

Other requirements for Critical Access Hospital status include a maximum of 25 acute care inpatient beds. For Critical Access Hospitals with swing bed agreements, any of its beds may be used for either inpatient acute care or swing bed services, Medina Memorial said.

The maximum inpatient stay is four days. Medina Memorial will continue serving the acute care needs of the community with 21 Medical/Surgical beds, four ICU beds, nine Acute Medical Rehabilitation beds and 30 Skilled Nursing Facility beds.

Critical Access Hospitals must also provide 24-hour/7 days a week emergency services, which Medina Memorial will continue to do, hospital leaders said.