AL legislature approves bill for rural hospital resource center
. - The Alabama legislature approved a bill that will allow the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health Care System to create a resource center to serve rural hospitals.
Nate Horsley, the Senior Healthcare Policy Advisor for UAB Health System and University of South Alabama, said rural hospitals take an even greater hit from the financial pressure facing the medical community.
"A lot of times they're dealing with very limited resources," said Horsley. "They're trying to stretch those as far as possible and so therefore they may not have the time or the manpower to gain some expertise."
Horsley said the program is in its early stages. He said they are looking for a sustainable source of funding to support the services the center will provide.
Horsley said the two main focuses are to provide experts to rural hospitals with specialties in things like coding, strategic planning and compliance and to link the hospitals with administrative residents.
"They have a lot of needs that are unmet, and because UAB Health System has robust systems in place, we want to be able to offer our assistance to those hospitals."
The following nearly 30 hospitals are likely eligible for the program. He said hospitals will have to apply to receive the services.
John Paul Jones Hospital- Camden, AL 36726
Marshall Medical Center North- Guntersville, AL 35976
Greene County Hospital- Eutaw, AL 35462
Hale County Hospital- Greensboro, AL 36744
Pickens County Medical Center- Carrollton, AL 35447
Monroe County Hospital- Monroeville, AL 36460
L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital- Greenville, AL 36037
Wiregrass Medical Center- Geneva, AL 36340
Lawrence Medical Center- Moulton, AL 35650
Atmore Community Hospital- Atmore, AL 36502
Mizell Memorial Hospital- Opp, AL 36467
Troy Regional Medical Center- Troy, AL 36081
Clay County Hospital- Ashland, AL 36251
Community Hospital, Inc.- Tallassee, AL 36078
North Baldwin Infirmary- Bay Minette, AL 36507
D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital- Brewton, AL 36426
Russellville Hospital- Russellville, AL 35653
St. Vincent's St. Clair- Pell City, AL 35125
Dale Medical Center- Ozark, AL 36360
Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital- Demopolis, AL 3673
Russell Medical- Alexander City, AL 35010
Coosa Valley Medical Center- Sylacauga, AL 35150
Athens-Limestone Hospital- Athens, AL 35611
Cullman Regional Medical Center- Cullman, AL 35056
Marshall Medical Center South- Boaz, AL 35957-0758
Choctaw General Hospital- Butler, AL 36904
St. Vincent's Blount- Oneonta, AL 35121
EAMC-Lanier- Valley, AL 36854
North Mississippi Medical Center - Hamilton- Hamilton, AL 35570
Red Bay Hospital- Red Bay, AL 35582
St. Vincent's Chilton- Clanton, AL 35046
Tanner Medical Center-East Alabama- Wedowee, AL 36278
Horsley said the resource center is a "big deal" because it has the potential to better serve rural healthcare patients, which constitutes a large portion of Alabama's population. Once UAB is able to find funding, Horsley said a more concrete timeline for the program will be available.
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