Michigan hospital becomes state's 1st with rural emergency designation

Sturgis (Mich.) Hospital completed its transition to a rural emergency hospital, becoming the first facility in the state to convert to the new designation. 

The designation will help Sturgis become more financially solvent as it searches for an entity to purchase the hospital, the Sturgis Journal reported Aug. 3.

The hospital was on the verge of closure last year when the Michigan Hospital Association suggested it convert to a rural emergency facility. CMS announced the final rule for the emergency rural hospital designation in November, and it took effect Jan. 1. 

Rural emergency hospitals do not provide acute inpatient services, which Sturgis discontinued in May as part of the conversion, the Journal reported. 

The conversion allows Sturgis to expand its emergency department capabilities, reduce the time it takes patients to receive essential medical attention and improve coordination with larger medical facilities to streamline patient transfers, according to an Aug. 3 hospital news release. It also increases its federal funding, which will be reinvested in improving healthcare infrastructure and services.  

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