NRMC: Better and Stronger Than Ever
As Mercy Hospital Fort Scott prepares to close its doors, patients are tasked with finding other facilities and providers for their healthcare needs, and Mercy employees are tasked to seek other career opportunities. The impact of closing hospital doors is never easy for the organization or community. Based on the Ft. Scott situation, executives at Nevada Regional Medical Center (NRMC) and Freeman Health System, its management organization, have recently been asked about the future of NRMC, given the long-time financial struggles of the Nevada hospital to stay afloat and thrive.
“When the announcement came about Ft. Scott, phone calls and emails came in about our future,” says Wes Braman, NRMC Interim Chief Executive Officer. “It was rather unexpected to hear the concerns of community members and even employees based on the Ft. Scott situation. However, NRMC continues to establish a solid foundation that can be built upon for a successful future. Closing our doors is not an option for us.”
At a time when rural hospitals across the country struggle and continue to dwindle, NRMC is on a path of restructuring to provide better services and receive better reimbursement. One of NRMC’s biggest challenges is keeping patients and garnering new ones. The hospital provides many services so that patients do not need to travel up to Kansas City or down to Joplin just to see a doctor or have a blood test or x-ray.
Since November 2017, the hospital has seen vast improvements to processes and services, and is gaining financial stability for the first time in many years.
“Our goal has always been to help Nevada Regional Medical Center be as strong as they possibly can, to remain independent but strengthen their financial trajectory and to be able to add services right here in Nevada” said Paula Baker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Freeman Health System. “The Freeman team has great regard for the mission of Nevada’s hospital as a safety net for the town and surrounding communities. We’re very respectful of that and our goal is to help make NRMC as strong as possible because there’s so much at stake here.”
Many NRMC services are thriving and expected to grow, including the behavioral health unit, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pain clinic, physical therapy, maternity, rural health clinics, specialty clinic, surgery, and wound clinic. And NRMC continues to offer a wide variety of services with expert healthcare professionals. However, much of the future of their availability depends on the community first taking advantage of services they can access locally, rather than getting their healthcare elsewhere.
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About Nevada Regional Medical Center
Serving a six-county area since 1937, Nevada Regional Medical Center is a 71-bed acute, intensive and skilled care hospital. Nevada Regional Medical Center has earned recognition as a respected regional medical center for its comprehensive health care services, skilled and caring employees and state-of-the-art medical technology. Staff represent more than a dozen medical specialties, including family practice, women’s services, neurology, urology, psychiatry, orthopedics, wound care services, and general, vascular, thoracic and oncological surgery. Additionally, consultation clinics are held regularly by specialists in oncology, pulmonology, podiatry, ear, nose, and throat and cardiology.
About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2018, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. The Leapfrog Group awarded Freeman the highest grade possible in the Spring 2018 Hospital Patient Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com.