Stroudwater Associates, the leading source of strategic, operational, and financial advisory services for rural, community, and county/district-owned hospitals, releases Rural Hospitals Must Keep Up with Innovation to Remain Viable; a white paper that details how rural and Critical Access Hospital (CAHs), can remain viable in the ever-changing healthcare system.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has evolved rapidly with emerging technology and telehealth services. Large corporations, such as Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS, have taken advantage of the tech-based urgent care, primary care, post-acute care, virtual care, and pharmacy services space. For rural hospitals and CAHs to compete with these industry disruptors, they must move away from the current fee-for-service (FFS) payment system and work toward the payment system of the future. By implementing a population-based system, hospitals will receive payment per capita and must determine how to care for a specific population within their service area. Recognizing that this new system is not easily implemented, Stroudwater Associates developed a strategic step-by-step system in order to help hospitals navigate through the transition.
The Stroudwater Transition Framework is composed of five key initiatives to help guide hospitals as they move to the new payment system. The initiatives unfold over time in three phases, beginning with full FFS and population-based payment system utilization. “There is no doubt that the last three years have been unprecedented for the rural healthcare environment, but we need to face reality,” said Stroudwater Associates Managing Director Jeff Sommer. “Hospitals need to recognize that the current model is dated. By utilizing the Transition Framework, hospitals have a chance against these large corporations.”
The Transition Framework was constructed by Stroudwater consultant, Eric Shell, MBA, CPA, a leader in rural healthcare financial management. As healthcare moves away from FFS reimbursement and toward population-based payment, Shell and his team at Stroudwater Associates provide critical financial and operational improvement services to ensure that rural hospitals continue to provide local, high-quality, and accessible patient care.
“Our team deeply understands how challenging it is for hospitals to transition from one payment system to another – to have a foot in both worlds, so to speak,” said Shell. “Despite that, we have seen tremendous success in guiding hospitals as they cross the ‘shaky bridge’ to a population-based payment system when using the Transition Framework. We know this new system will position hospitals to face the challenges of the current post-pandemic environment and beyond.”
To learn more about Stroudwater Associates’ Transition Framework, click here.