Rural hospitals face considerable challenges throughout the country. While some rural hospitals thrive in challenging situations, others falter.
Today, we’re highlighting some of the best success stories of rural hospitals across America, including situations where ingenuity, creativity, and flexibility saved small hospitals in rural settings.
Rural Hospital in Beatrice, Nebraska Specializes in Healthcare for Older Adults
Rural areas of America tend to have older populations than urban areas. This increases challenges for rural hospitals.
It’s hard enough running a small, rural hospital. These challenges increase with older populations who have larger, more complicated healthcare needs – and who also tend to be Medicare patients.
Despite these challenges, a small hospital in Beatrice, Nebraska is thriving by implementing a seemingly obvious solution: they’ve invested in aging healthcare, allowing them to specialize in the specific areas where older adults need them most.
The average age in Beatrice, Nebraska is 6 years older than the average age in Nebraska. It’s an older, rural town with a population of 12,200 people.
To address these challenges, the Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center (BCHHC) has implemented a range of solutions. BCHHC has continued to grow, opening a new building while doubling patient numbers since 2009.
What did BCCHC do differently? The hospital made significant investments in treating and serving the area’s aging residents. As the town’s population gets increasingly older, several nursing homes have opened in town, with BCCHC being the primary medical hub for these residents.
Today, BCHHC is the second largest employer in Beatrice. It has a 25-bed hospital employing 512 people with a payroll of $28 million. The hospital earned $100 million in revenue last year – even as other businesses are leaving Beatrice en masse.
Because of their foresight, the Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center continues to thrive amid uncertain times for small, rural hospitals.