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AL legislature approves bill for rural hospital resource center

The Alabama legislature approved a bill that will allow the University of Alabama at Birmingham...
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. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Mar. 23, 2018 at 9:06 PM CDT
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. - 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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