Stroudwater Associates, the nation’s leading source of strategic, operational, and financial strategy for rural and community hospitals, announces that is has surpassed its impact goals for 2020 and is positioned for additional growth in 2021.
According to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina, in the last ten years, over 134 rural hospitals have closed with at least an additional 21% of rural hospitals remaining financially unstable. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the existing operational and financial pressures on rural hospitals, and Stroudwater Associates stepped up to help clients and communities navigate through these uncertain times.
During the spring 2020 surge of COVID-19, Stroudwater Associates developed and delivered custom content to help rural and community leaders grapple with the crisis. Whether providing a cash flow model with additional guidance, furnishing COVID-19 and telehealth coding expertise, assistance related to correcting cost reports, undertaking provider practice operational reviews, or conducting service line reviews, Stroudwater Associates focused on providing short term ROI to its clients grappling with pandemic related service and business disruptions.
At the same time, Stroudwater Associates was also providing strategic advice and counsel to its clients. Some clients were able to examine their facility needs – using Stroudwater’s six-week charrette process – to address both long-term and COVID-19-related facilities needs. Stroudwater Associates’ rapid strategic planning process also provided hospital leaders with a quick turn-around strategic plan to chart a course for the future. Lastly, Stroudwater Associates provided advisory assistance to several clients regarding affiliations and partnerships.
“Stroudwater Associates is proud that our impact is growing. Our commitment to innovation and meeting our clients’ needs meant that in 2020 Stroudwater advised hospitals and healthcare systems that together served communities comprising 26.5 million of our fellow Americans,” said Stroudwater Associates Manager Director Jeff Sommer. “We appreciate the trust our clients place in us. It is both an honor and a privilege to help our clients meet the healthcare needs of so many Americans.”
2020 impact by the numbers:
- 370 engagements with hospitals, health systems, and physician groups
- Reached over 2,600 hospital executives through a series of webinars on COVID-19
- Engagements with 43 states
“Our goal in 2021 is to continue to increase the number of lives we are impacting,” says Stroudwater Board Chairman Eric Shell. “We helped clients through the pandemic and will continue to help navigate through the uncertainty. We are well positioned for this continued growth through investments in people and additional services.”
Team promotions and recognition:
- Amy Graham joins as Revenue Cycle Management Practice Leader
- Brian Haapala joins as CEO of StroudwaterGCL Rural Health Care Capital, LLC
One of the biggest announcements of the year was the launch of the joint venture with Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greater Nevada Credit Union, to help rural healthcare businesses access USDA guaranteed loans. This new partnership is known as StroudwaterGCL Rural Healthcare Capital and combines Stroudwater’s expertise with GCL’s expertise in USDA healthcare lending.
“This year we truly lived the Stroudwater mission and pivoted our efforts to help clients in need,” says Sommer. “We developed a stronger connection with the industry and became a bigger part of the solution. We are looking forward to the new year and continuing to serve hospitals, communities and patients.”
Investments in New Products and Services
A Cost Report Tool added to an existing suite of cloud-based tools that assist health system CFOs and CEOs to get the correct information and insight quickly. The newly updated Cost Report Tool will allow for more accurate and timely Medicare reimbursements.
Stroudwater has launched a new service to help physician practices better manage their chronic pain patients who are on long-term opioid therapy. The Six Building Blocks program, developed by a physician-led team from the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine and the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, is a nationally recognized approach that provides primary care providers with a comprehensive roadmap to establish standardized processes and tools supporting evidence-based opioid prescribing practices and chronic pain management. Implementation of the Six Building Blocks roadmap often results in reductions in the number of patients on long-term opioid therapy and decreases in the dosage levels of prescribed opioids, thereby improving patient safety and quality of care and reducing patient risk of overdose and death. Stroudwater provides education and assists practices to implement the Six Building Blocks Program.
“We are excited to be able to provide this effective solution to one of our country’s gravest health crises and help our clients better serve their communities,” says Shell.