PRESS RELEASE

December 12, 2012 11:31 AM Eastern Time

 

Bingham Memorial Hospital Awarded Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant


Funding Allows Hospital to Create National Model for Improving Patient Outcomes

BLACKFOOT, Idaho--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bingham Memorial Hospital today announced it has been chosen as the recipient of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant. This grant is another indication that Bingham Memorial Hospital, together with its associated facility, Idaho Doctors’ Hospital, is establishing leadership in quality improvement, which directly impacts patient outcomes. Funds will be used to license the Rural Wisconsin Healthcare Cooperative Quality Indicators system (RWHCQI), increasing results related to patient-centered outcomes-that-matter through cost-effective, and organizationally efficient programs.

 

The definition of outcomes-that-matter includes both medical improvement and an improvement in the patient’s quality of life. For example, a medical treatment may lower cholesterol, which is a measurable impact. An outcome-that-matters would also include the patient experiencing fewer symptoms, perhaps avoiding a cardiac event, or requiring less care due to improved overall health.

“We are very pleased to be awarded this grant. Facilitating access to national indicators systems creates better healthcare for patients in south east Idaho while improving healthcare on a national level,” said Louis Kraml, Chief Executive Officer and Bingham Memorial Hospital Administrator. “Access to this grant will now enable us to build a national model for rural hospitals using funding to improve patient outcomes. As a Critical Access Hospital, we take what may appear to be small infusions of grant money to some institutions and drive significant, positive impacts in terms of outcomes-that-matter. We look forward to helping rural hospitals, like us, around the nation provide the best possible patient care.”

 

The $19,818 grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and administered by the Idaho State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, assists designated Critical Access Hospitals to increase quality and performance improvement activities, stabilize rural hospital finance, and integrate Emergency Medical Services (EMS) into their health care systems.

 

Kraml continued, “It is so important to raise rural healthcare standards and we would like to acknowledge the State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care and its commitment to and support of rural hospitals through funding of this nature. We also congratulate our researchers and clinical staff who wrote the grant application and applaud our medical and research staff in their standard of care and pursuit of bringing exceptional practices to the national stage of rural hospital care.”

 

The Flex grant funding joins Critical Access Hospitals, EMS providers, clinics and health practitioners to encourage the development of cooperative care systems in rural areas. The program focuses on four core areas:

 

1. Support for Quality Improvement in Critical Access Hospitals

2. Support for Health System Development and Community Engagement, including integrating EMS in regional and local systems of care

3. Designation of Critical Access Hospitals in the State

 

Bingham Memorial Hospital’s grant approval rate is above average, and as such, has established the goal of applying for $5 million in federal grants to facilitate the continual improvement of patient care, supporting quality improvement projects, increase its number of positive patient outcomes, and to collect valuable objective data, ultimately enabling the hospital to create a blueprint for rural hospitals around the nation to learn how to effectively use funding to improve patient outcomes.

 

Bingham Memorial Hospital’s research department has generated $598,500 in revenues through research and grant activities during 2012. New revenue at this level provides a significant boost to the hospital, and the local community through employment opportunities and additional business and commercial activity.

 

“In addition to the direct impact Flex grant funding will have to improve our ability to drive patient outcomes-that-matter, the successful application for this grant qualifies Bingham Memorial Hospital to apply for another, larger grant,” said Dr. Bernadette Howlett, PhD., Director of Research for Bingham Memorial and Idaho Doctors’ Hospitals. “We are currently working in collaboration with the Institute of Rural Health at Idaho State University to apply for a federal grant through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for up to $600,000 in funding to support a quality improvement project. We are thrilled to receive the Flex grant and look forward to the results of other research and grant funding pursuits.”

 

The Flex grant is the second quality improvement award Bingham Memorial Hospital has received this year. The Small Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) grant was awarded earlier, which provides $9,033 in funding, enabling Bingham Memorial Hospital and Idaho Doctors Hospital access to the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) system.

 

To learn more, please visit us at www.binghammemorial.org.

 

About Bingham Memorial Hospital

Bingham Memorial Hospital is a 501(c)3 non-profit critical access hospital located in Blackfoot, Idaho. Bingham Memorial Hospital is committed to the pursuit of excellence in our endeavor to provide a continuum of quality, compassionate, healthcare services for residents and visitors to east Idaho, in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.