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The Quiet Struggles of Ohio Rural Hospitals

One in three small, rural Ohio hospitals have operating margins of less than 1 percent. A recent financial review by OHA found 22 small, rural hospitals just barely breaking even, which represents 31 percent of rural members and 10 percent of all 220 hospitals in the state.

Some Ohio hospitals are even considering whether to follow the lead of others that closed maternity wards in order to remain financially viable. Unfortunately, even around 100 deliveries a year does not cover costs for employing a minimum of three obstetricians to maintain 24-hour coverage.

Distressed nonprofit hospitals are actively seeking mergers with larger systems since passage of the Affordable Care Act. These small hospitals encounter operating losses and bond ratings below investment grades, along with the ability to update older facilities.

The proposed two-year state budget back in 2015 included $434 million in cuts to Medicaid payments to hospitals, including payments for physician residency training programs. On top of that, Ohio hospitals project $2.6 billion in federal cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

DECA Health has the Solution

Several trends in pain management are occurring that hospital executives should keep in mind. Already about 100 million Americans are in chronic pain, and each year tens of millions of Americans undergo surgeries that require pain management. Hospitals are incentivized to create pain management programs designed to help their patients, while retaining these patients within their hospital system.

DECA Health recognizes the need to improve pain management outcomes and to improve patient satisfaction scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. The HCAHPS survey, which is linked to CMS payments, directly asks patients about their pain. Deca Health understands that the key strategy is to structure their pain programs, from evaluating acute and chronic pain, to providing psychological evaluation if needed and patient education.

The DECA Health joint venture model ensures that patients receive appropriate evidence-based interventional and non-interventional pain management, while significantly enhancing hospital revenue and patient satisfaction scores for better reimbursement. This model leverages DECA Health’s years of management and billing experience to design an inpatient pain management program in your facility. The aim is to improve care, provide services to underserved areas, boost patient satisfaction and avoid revenue loss.

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