Lincoln County Medical Center (LCMC) is one of four critical access hospitals across the country to recently receive national recognition for innovative care coordination. LCMC received the honor for a data-driven project that dramatically reduced hospital readmissions among Medicare patients.
The National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) and the New Mexico Department of Health’s Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) recognized LCMC with this year’s Critical Access Hospital Recognition for the project, which reduced hospital readmissions among Medicare patients from 6.5% in 2017 to 2.2% in 2019. As part of the project, teams took a deep dive into drivers of high utilization and adjusted programs to better serve patients.
As a result of the project, LCMC was also named a Quest for Excellence Award winner and Top Hospital for 2019 by the New Mexico Hospital Association.
Critical Access Hospital Recognition was established by The Center and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to recognize the excellent work in critical access hospitals (CAHs) and other rural safety net providers throughout the country. The recognition promotes excellence and innovation, and honors the achievements and results while publicizing successful strategies.
During this round of nominations, four states were chosen for CAH Recognition.
“The achievement in care coordination initiatives by CAHs is impressive,” stated Sally Buck, Chief Executive Officer at The Center. “It reflects the innovation required to address unique population health needs in rural communities. Providing services locally benefits the patient, the overall community and enhances CAH performance outcomes.”
“I am incredibly proud of our team for their work on this project,” said Todd Oberheu, hospital chief executive, Lincoln County Medical Center. “With this project, they used data to take a close look at the reasons some patients ended up returning to the hospital and took important steps to address them. This is a great example of LCMC’s focus on improving the health of our community.”
About Lincoln County Medical Center
Lincoln County Medical Center is a county-owned facility that has been leased and operated by Presbyterian Healthcare Services since 1972. This partnership is dedicated to improving the health of individuals, families and communities in Ruidoso and Lincoln County. Lincoln County Medical Center and Presbyterian Healthcare Services operate a hospital, a primary care and specialty clinic, three rural clinics and a countywide ambulance service in Lincoln County. Lincoln County Medical Center is one of nine hospitals run by Presbyterian, which also has a statewide health plan and a multi-specialty medical group.