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Published on March 14, 2022

Top 20 Rural and Community Hospitals Announced

Two hospitals affiliated with Avera Health have been named to a list of Top 20 Rural and Community Hospitals, including Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, S.D., and Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake, Iowa (an Avera partner).

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) announced the 20 highest-ranked prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals in the country, based on an evaluation by the Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“These hospitals were already recognized among the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in the nation. To be listed among the Top 20 is extraordinary,” said Bob Sutton, Avera President and CEO. “Rural and community hospitals hold an important place in the spectrum of care. They provide the essential care that’s needed by most patients in most situations, right in their home community. During COVID, these hospitals have taken on a greater share of the overall patient load to reserve critical care beds for the sickest patients. We commend them for their amazingly high quality – even in difficult times.”

“Being named among the top 20 rural and community hospitals in the nation is a tremendous honor,” said Doug Ekeren, Regional President and CEO of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital. “It is confirmation that the professionals who bring our health care ministry to life every day are second to none. The quality of care they provide to our patients and residents is outstanding, and we are proud to be able to do that right here in Yankton.”

These hospitals will be recognized May 12 during NRHA’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit in Albuquerque, N.M.

“The Top 20 list is a high honor, and a recognition of our local hospital’s overall quality and strength. It reflects high quality care, great service, high value and financial strength. I’m proud of our amazing staff who work very hard to sustain this level of excellence,” said Jason Harrington, President and CEO of Lakes Regional Healthcare.

The hospitals are identified using the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX, the most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural PPS hospital performance.

Determining factors for the top 20 rural and community hospitals are based on eight indices: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge and financial efficiency.

“NRHA is committed to ensuring our members have the best information to manage their hospitals,” says Brock Slabach, NRHA membership services senior vice president. “We’re pleased to recognize the accomplishments of these rural and community hospitals.”

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