Archive for February, 2014

Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) Grants DUE MARCH 6

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) announces the availability of the Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP).  The purpose of SHIP is to help small rural hospitals of 49 beds or less, and do any or all of the following: 1) enable the purchase of equipment and/or training to help hospitals attain value-based purchasing provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), 2) aid small rural hospitals in joining or becoming accountable care organizations, or create shared savings programs per the ACA, and 3) enable small rural hospitals to purchase health information technology, equipment and/or training to comply with meaningful use, ICD-10 standards, and payment bundling.  APPLICATIONS DUE MARCH 6, 2014


Though the State Office of Rural Health (SORH) within the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will be the official grantee of record, and act as a fiscal intermediary for all hospitals within Texas, SHIP funds are geared towards assisting small rural hospitals that are essential access points for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Eligible small rural hospitals are non-federal, short-term general acute care facilities that are located in a rural area, including faith-based hospitals. For the purpose of this program:

1.       “Small hospital” is defined as 49 available beds or less, as reported on the hospital’s most recently filed Medicare Cost Report,

2.       “Rural” is defined as either located outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or located within a rural census tract of a MSA, as determined under the Goldsmith Modification or the Rural Urban Commuting Areas (RUCAs), and,

3.       Eligible SHIP hospitals may be for-profit or not-for-profit. Tribally operated hospitals under Titles I and V of P.L. 93-638 are eligible to the extent that such hospitals meet the above criteria.

The 2014 SHIP RFA and Application is attached to this email or can be found here:

Healthcare Access San Antonio Partners with Holon Solutions and TORCH

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Healthcare Access San Antonio (HASA), the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH) and Holon Solutions have joined together to help make connecting to the region-wide health information exchange (HIE) affordable for rural health providers. The HIE initiative with TORCH and Holon Solutions will connect area hospitals, clinics, physician offices and other providers in the 22 counties in South Texas included in HASA’s service area.

HASA is the entity authorized by the State of Texas to develop the HIE for Bexar and 21 surrounding counties. It is one of 12 such exchanges in the State.

Low doctor-patient ratios and the historically high cost of HIE software have made it more difficult for rural health providers than their urban counterparts to share health information with other providers. And while the ultimate success of an HIE depends on making rural HIE solutions available to as many health providers as is possible, past attempts to address their specific needs have proven to be cost prohibitive due to the initial capital expenditure required as well as the funding needed to pay for additional IT staff. Read the full press release by clicking here.

Register Now for the 2014 TORCH Annual Conference & Trade Show

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The  TORCH Annual Conference & Trade Show is known nationally as a  premier source of quality education and networking opportunities for  rural health care leaders and decision-makers. Our  theme for 2014 is ‘Taking Rural Healthcare in a New Direction.’  The evolving landscape of rural health care is becoming increasingly  difficult to navigate, requiring knowledge, data, vigilance and  collaboration. The TORCH  Annual Conference & Trade Show will explore many of these new  directions in order to help guide rural hospital executives, trustees  and other stakeholders toward financial and operational success. Register now by clicking here.

We’ve also opened registration for the 2014 TORCH Annual Conference Early Bird Golf Tournament, sponsored by CSS Health Technologies. The golf tournament will be held on Tuesday, April 8. Click here for more information and to register for the tournament.

TORCH Now Accepting Gordon Russell Award Nominations

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The Gordon Russell Award of Merit is given annually by the TORCH Board of Directors to recognize an outstanding rural hospital administrator.  You are now invited and encouraged to nominate a fellow rural hospital administrator who you believe should be recognized for their accomplishments, leadership, and demonstrated ability to sustain and/or elevate the need for and value of rural and community hospitals in Texas.  Please click here for the nomination form.

TORCH Honors Rural Texas Hospital Leaders with Awards

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

The Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH) announced winners of their 8th Annual TORCH Leadership & Management Institute (TLMI) Awards. These awards were presented during a luncheon at the conference held on January 22-23 in Lakeway. The two awards presented include the Essence of Leadership Award and the Leadership Culture Award.

“There are great leaders across Texas that are growing their rural hospitals and ensuring that their care is top-notch for their communities and region,” said David Pearson, president and CEO of TORCH. “TORCH is proud to have this opportunity to recognize their accomplishments and put the spotlight on their dedication in paving the way for rural health.”

The 2014 TLMI Award winners are:

  • David Conejo, CEO of Red River Regional Hospital in Bonham, Texas, Essence of Leadership Award – This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, service and contribution in healthcare, and who has made a significant impact in his or her organization and community. The award winner was nominated for his high level of initiative and dedication to the organization’s goals, visions and purpose. Under his leadership the hospital remains fiscally strong, and is in the process of securing an orthopedic surgeon, provides diabetes education to the public, provides inpatient and outpatient geriatric services, utilizes the latest technology including telemedicine and is working towards becoming one of the first critical access hospitals in the state to receive stroke certifications. 
  • Mitchell County Hospital District Physical Therapy Department in Colorado City, Texas, Leadership Culture Award – This award recognizes an accomplished team or organizational culture that has worked successfully together for the betterment of the organization, patients and the community they serve. The team is made up of three physical therapists: Jamie Alvarez, Marsha Drummond, and Cliff Shiller. The Mitchell County Hospital District Physical Therapy Department was nominated because of their positive energy, enthusiasm, and compassionate care without fail. Their vigor and love for their job and patients is contagious and manifests itself in the glowing reviews patients have bestowed upon them.