SCKRMC Receives Another 5-Star Rating

June 17, 2010

South Central Kansas Regional Medical Center was recently given a five star rating in the community value index of the State of the Hospital Industry - 2010 edition, published by Cleverly & Associates. This is the fourth time since the textbook first published in 2004 that the medical center has received the award.

The publication was created to offer a measure of the value that a hospital provides to its community. More specifically, the community value index (CVI) compares the key areas that directly impact financial performance of healthcare facilities. The CVI studied all acute care hospitals in the United States by dividing them into peer groups to gather comparison information. The top 20 percent in each class were given a five star ranking. SCKRMC was one of only six hospitals in the State to receive this recognition for the "small, non-teaching" class. This class includes over 1,600 hospitals nationally.

The other Kansas healthcare facilities receiving the same acknowledgment are Galichia Heart Hospital LLC, Wichita; Labette Health, Parsons; Morton County Hospital, Elkhart; Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center, Pittsburg; Sumner Regional Medical Center, Wellington.

"We are very honored to have been named again this year by Cleverly and Associates as a five-star facility. This underscores our commitment to delivering quality healthcare to the region and is reflective of the great commitment we have by the medical staff of SCKRMC," said Steve Perkins, the hospital's CEO.

Performance was judged in four areas. The first core area of the CVI examines financial viability and plant reinvestment. Financial viability takes into consideration the profitability of each hospital. According to the text a hospital must maintain a "strong financial position" to provide quality care while remaining competitive in the market.

Plant reinvestment takes into consideration the funds put back into the hospital itself. Healthcare facilities must continually make investments in equipment to stay on top of the current and emerging healthcare needs of their communities.

The second area examined in the CVI is the hospital cost structure. Keeping costs low allows a hospital to provide care efficiently, resulting in a lower cost for the community and insurance providers. The CVI assessed medical facilities cost structures for both inpatient and outpatient settings.

The third area of the CVI is hospital charges. Hospitals are often in a difficult position because their pricing may not necessarily reflect the actual payment that will be recovered from insurance providers. In addition, the percentage of patients who are uninsured or are insured by payers that reimburse for care at levels less than cost, such as Medicaid, can vary significantly among hospitals. With this in mind, the CVI adjusts the pricing component to allow for more meaningful charge comparison.

The final area of the CVI is hospital quality performance. This dimension takes into account several factors commonly reported by hospitals. Mortality rates, percentage of patients readmitted to the facility, and various other information required to participate in federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are taken into consideration when computing an average score for quality performance.

According to the book's publishers the CVI provides a good overall measure of a hospital's financial strength and performance concerning costs, charges, and quality. The aggregates of these four core areas can produce value for a community when a hospital achieves a strong financial position, low cost structure, reasonable charges, and high quality patient care for services. While certain hospitals excelled in specific measures, Five-Star facilities were able to achieve better-than-average results in all four CVI core areas.