Guadalupe County Hospital Surpassing Six Month SRHT Goals

January 2019
Organization: 
National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)

Guadalupe County Hospital (GCH) is a 10-bed, not-for-profit, Sole Community Hospital (SCH), providing acute care, emergency medicine, imaging, pain management, laboratory and related outpatient ancillary services to the residents of Santa Rosa, New Mexico and surrounding communities. In 2011, GCH moved to a new location and built a 33K-square-foot facility that includes the Sunrise Medical Group and Santa Rosa public health office. Their motto is “providing compassionate and quality care to every patient every time.”

Matt Mendez and Lindsay Corcoran, consultants with Stroudwater Associates, worked with GCH in 2018 through the Small Rural Hospital Transition (SRHT) project on a Financial and Operational Assessment (FOA). Center staff spoke with Christina Campos, CEO, in November 2018 to discuss the implementation of the consultant recommendations in the first six months.

Q: Tell us about the implementation of this project and what kinds of things you found to be successful.

A: To optimize revenue cycle process, GCH used the LEAN rapid improvement event and completed a value stream analysis. They decreased days net accounts receivable from 56 to 43 by optimizing time from process to process and improved documentation on medical necessity. There are plans to address point of service collection next.

Implementation of consultant recommendations is impacting the growth of services. GCH partnered with Sunrise Medical Group to further grow pain management services and have doubled procedure days and hired another anesthesiologist. They are considering pulmonary rehab services, tele-cardiology and tele-prenatal to help address the shortage of specialists in New Mexico. They are also exploring the acquisition of a building onsite to house specialty services.

GCH has focused on increasing leadership ownership of the department budget development and management. Monthly financials are distributed to leaders. The next budget will occur in June and preliminary planning will start in March and April. In preparation, budget leadership training will be held in February.

GCH continues to investigate new payment models. Leaders attended the global budget academy and are discussing this further with the board.

HCAHPs scores continue to be very high. GCH received awards through Medicare QIO for HCAHPS, quality of care and reduction of readmission. They will receive a new Women’s Choice Award in January. Progress on measurable outcomes is going very well and will be reported on in May 2019.

Q: What are the ways this project has impacted your hospital culture?

A: Non-measurable impact includes:

  • More engagement for leaders around the financial running of their departments
  • More ownership of managers for some concepts (such as the business part); measuring or paying attention to something helps to improve; helps them to refocus
  • Continued focus to assess the present state and make decisions about future; consider all possibilities

Q: Lastly, how do you believe this project has helped you move forward in the newly emerging system of health care delivery and payment?

A: (GCH is) looking at reducing cost and value proposition. (We are) improving value by improving efficiencies and reduce cost and increase quality.