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Kansas has some of top 100 rural hospitals in U.S., according to list

Newton Medical Center has made the list of top 100 rural or community hospitals in the nation. (June 20, 2012)
Newton Medical Center has made the list of top 100 rural or community hospitals in the nation. (June 20, 2012) File photo

For the first time, several rural hospitals in Kansas have made a list of the top 100 rural or community hospitals in the nation.

The top 100 list was released Monday by a group called iVantage Health Analytics.

“The people in their region see them as a value and come to them,” said Michael Topchik, senior vice president at iVantage Health Analytics, which published the list. “The patients are choosing to go to those hospitals.”

The list divides the hospitals into two groups: rural and community hospitals. Rural hospitals are those that have fewer than 200 beds. Critical access hospitals have 25 or fewer beds and are at least 35 miles from any other hospital.

Newton Medical Center and Ransom Memorial Hospital in Ottawa made the list for top rural and community hospitals.

Kansas hospitals that made the list: Newton Medical Center, Ransom Memorial Hospital in Ottawa, Gove County Medical Center, Greeley County Health Services, Newman Regional Health in Emporia and Norton County Hospital.

Gove County Medical Center, Greeley County Health Services, Newman Regional Health in Emporia and Norton County Hospital made the cut for top 100 critical access hospitals.

The group that published the reports, iVantage Health Analytics, is a for-profit research group based in Maine. It didn’t offer a specific ranking for the top 100 and didn’t release metrics for individual hospitals.

States with rural hospitals that have strong affiliations – such as health networks or regional hospital systems – are associated with better scores.

Each year, iVantage also releases a national report about the number of hospitals at risk of closure. The group does not identify those at-risk hospitals by name, in attempt to avoid worsening those financial problems, but has said that 31 of the state’s 107 rural hospitals have at least some characteristics of hospitals that have closed.

Topchik said the list of top-performing hospitals is compiled from the same data used to measure closure risk.

Three years ago, Topchik said, Kansas had no hospitals that made the top 100 for critical access hospitals.

Gabriella Dunn: 316-268-6400, @gabriella_dunn

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