Rural hospitals in the Delta region of Mississippi now have the opportunity to enhance their health care delivery through participation in a comprehensive project to improve their financial, clinical and operational performance. Through a partnership with the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Hospital Association’s (MHA) Rural Health Center, and with funding from the federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), rural hospitals in the Delta regions are offered the opportunity to receive expert consultation targeting their specific needs.
The Rural Hospital Performance Improvement (RHPI) Project is a demonstration program in the Delta region that began in September of 2001. Nationally, the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) funded this initiative for rural areas of the Delta region. Since then, 75 percent of all applicant hospitals in the region have received consultation services. Eight states make up the Delta region covering portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The hospitals targeted for this project are located in rural counties and have less than 50 beds.
The RHPI Project provides expert financial and performance improvement consultants who assess the hospital’s current situation, recommend changes and train the staff to implement those changes. The program also provides on-site technical assistance to hospitals in the Delta region; collects and disseminates business tools, information and databases that hospitals can use to help themselves; and helps build state and regional capacity to provide ongoing assistance.
In Mississippi, 13 of the 25 eligible hospitals have participated in the program. We sincerely appreciate these participating hospitals for taking this important step to advance health care in the Delta: Claiborne County Hospital, Port Gibson; Field Memorial Hospital, Centreville; Franklin County Memorial Hospital, Meadville; Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital, Hazlehurst; Humphreys County Medical Center, Belzoni; Jefferson Davis Community Hospital, Prentiss; Kilmichael Hospital, Kilmichael; Montfort Jones Memorial Hospital, Kosciusko; North Sunflower County Medical Center, Ruleville; Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital, Rolling Fork; Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital, Winona; University Medical Center- Holmes County, Lexington and Walthall County Medical Center, Tylertown.
For more information about the RHPI Project, please contact Mendal Kemp, director of our MHA Center for Rural Health, at (800) 289-8884, (601) 368-3384 or [email protected], or visit the Project Web site. We look forward to continue working with our rural hospitals to improve health care delivery clinically, financially and operationally in Mississippi’s rural communities.