Hermann Representatives visit Washington, D.C.

Article Date: September 24, 2013

On September 10th and 11th, the Missouri Hospital Association recently sent Gordon Gerber, Board President, Donald Swayze, D.O., Medical Staff Vice-President, and Dan McKinney, Administrator along with other rural healthcare leaders to Washington, D.C. to visit with Senator Roy Blunt, Senator Claire McCaskill, and Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer about the significance of Critical Access Hospitals in the to the delivery of rural healthcare.  The Hermann Area District Hospital is among the thirty-five Critical Access Hospitals in Missouri.  Besides the vital healthcare rendered by the medical staff of these hospitals, most of the hospitals are the major employer within their communities.  The Hermann Area District Hospital provides employment to over 200 professional and non-professional staff with an annual payroll of $7 million.


“Both of our Senators and Representative Luetkemeyer were supporting of the Critical Access Hospital program and understand the impact of our hospitals on the rural Missouri communities”, said Dan McKinney.


Critical Access Hospitals serve as high quality access points for around-the-clock emergency services, inpatient and outpatients services, as well as opportunities to see specialists without incurring additional cost in time and travel for those in need.  Critical Access Hospitals make it possible for patients to receive care at home in their rural communities where they are surrounded by family and other social supports.


While the Missouri elected representatives and senators consistently support the Critical Access Hospital program, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recommended changes to the program that would undermine the ability of Missouri’s Critical Access Hospitals to continue to serve their communities.  Missouri’s Critical Access Hospitals provide nearly 10% of hospital care.  Gordon Gerber noted that, “The Inspector General’s report is only looking at the savings in closing some rural hospitals and not the cost this will mean to people that live in these communities.”