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The challenges facing children's and rural hospitals

July 1, 2024
Healthcare Finance
Summary
Children's and rural hospitals face unique challenges in reimbursement, primarily due to reliance on Medicaid and shifting payer mixes. Akron Children's Hospital CFO, Gordon Edwards, noted that more than half of their budget comes from Medicaid, and emphasized adapting to patient preferences for digital scheduling. Julie Lautt, CFO of Avera Health, highlighted the importance of keeping care local through telemedicine, which they have utilized since 1993. Both hospitals are combating workforce shortages, exacerbated by an aging population, by offering better benefits and innovative recruitment strategies. Competition from healthcare disruptors and the inefficiencies in denial processes were also discussed, with both leaders stressing the need for improved collaboration between providers and payers.
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