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Two Idaho critical access hospitals make the top-100 list

Two of Idaho’s hospitals were ranked in the 2020 list of the top-100 critical access access hospitals in the country. The Shoshone Medical Center in Kellogg is on the list for the second year in a row; and the Franklin County Medical Center in Preston has achieved its spot in the top-100 ranking for an astounding four years in a row.

Becker’s Hospital Review published this year’s list on Feb. 24. The top-100 CAH list is assembled by the Chartis Center for Rural Health every year. A place in the ranking is based on the iVantage Hospital Strength Index, which uses eight different measures of hospital quality and performance.

The Franklin County Medical Center was founded in 1929 and serves the upper Cache Valley in southeastern Idaho. Located in the county seat of Preston (pop. 5,391), FCMC is a county hospital with its board appointed by the Franklin County Commissioners. It also holds a federal CAH designation.

FCMC has 20 routine-access beds and an attached 35-bed skilled nursing facility. Located in the center of Preston, it is the largest employer in Franklin County. In addition to being on the top-100 CAH list for four years, FCMC was also ranked as one of the 150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare in 2017 and 2018 by Becker’s Hospital Review.

According to the American Hospital Directory, FCMC had $30,031,664 of total patient revenues, 462 discharges and 2,241 total patient days in 2018, the most recent year for which federal statistics are available.

Shoshone Medical Center is in the Idaho Panhandle town of Kellogg (pop. 2,120), which is the largest community in Shoshone County. The hospital gained its federal CAH designation in 2001.

The hospital is the largest facility operated by the West Shoshone Hospital District #1, which is a taxing district with an elected seven-member board. SMC moved out of their old 1958 hospital building and into a new facility in 2004.

SMC has 25 routine-care beds. The hospital and its ancillary businesses are one of the largest employers in Shoshone County, with a payroll of just over 100. In additional to the CAH, the hospital district also operates SMC Family Medicine in Kellogg, an SMC-branded fitness and wellness center in Smelterville, and the Pinehurst Medical Clinic and an SMC-branded community outreach center in Pinehurst.

SMC had $21,645,300 of total patient revenues, 256 discharges and 1,425 total patient days in 2018, according to the American Hospital Directory.

There are just over 1,300 CAH facilities in the United States. Idaho has 27 CAHs according to the state’s Department of Health and Welfare.

The 1997 federal Balanced Budget Act defines a CAH as a rural-area hospital facility with no more than 25 beds and an average hospital stay under 96 hours. In addition, a CAH must be more than 35 miles from another hospital, with exceptions allowed for areas with poor roads or difficult terrain. The facility must offer 24/7 emergency care, any physician on-call must be on-site within 60 minutes, and a registered nurse must be on site at all times when acutely ill patients are in the hospital.

Neither SMC nor FCMC responded to Idaho Business Review inquires for comments.

About Catie Clark