> After significant efforts to improve operating results for Mountain View Hospital's Living Center, hospital leadership has made the difficult decision to transition out of the long-term care business.
Long-term care includes medical and nonmedical services for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses who cannot care for themselves over an extended period of time.
The hospital will continue to provide skilled nursing care services for patients recovering from illness or injury.
The living center opened its doors in 1975, and in recent years has shown a significant drop in the number of residents its serves.
This decrease in demand for hospital-based long-term care has been felt nationwide as free-standing residential care communities become more popular options.
Fewer residents, coupled with increasing government regulations and current Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rates, have made it difficult for Mountain View Hospital to operate the living center without putting its core hospital business at risk.
"This decision is an especially challenging one because the quality of care and service at our living center are among the best in the industry and because we care deeply about our residents and caregivers," said Jay Henry, chief executive officer.
According to Henry, the living center will remain open until all the residents have been placed with other long-term care facilities that meet their individual needs. This process is expected to take place over the next six to 12 months.
"We will continue to provide excellent care and service while we work with our residents and their families to make a comfortable transition," said Henry.
"We are also very concerned for our excellent caregivers who will be affected by this change and we are committed to helping them transition smoothly," he added.
Mountain View Hospital is one of the few remaining hospitals in the state to offer long-term care and is now faced with the challenge of balancing this service with others that are in higher demand.
"We have a responsibility to ensure that Jefferson County has a full range of hospital and health services that are close to home and meet the needs of our communities as they grow. This difficult business decision to transition away from long-term care will allow us to shift our resources to be more responsive to these needs," said Henry.
Mountain View Hospital is currently exploring opportunities for transition care in partnership with a national firm interested in looking at long-term care solutions in the immediate area.
Mountain View Hospital has been caring for patients in Jefferson County for more than 40 years. With a full range of hospital and health services, MVH employs nearly 250 caregivers and enjoys partnerships with 17 expert medical staff.
MVH is nationally recognized for clinical excellence and financial performance and is one of only four critical access hospitals in the nation to be named as a "mentor hospital" by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.