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Business Network Provides Rural Hospitals Opportunities

A birthing suit in Union Hospital is part of the hospital's $3 million expansion.

A newly formed business partner network in Indiana aims to help hospitals quickly find businesses including law firms and insurance companies–that have medical expertise. The Indiana Rural Health Association provides hospitals with a network to help them with a wide range of issues including physician recruitment and regulatory changes associated with the Affordable Care Act.

Greene County General Hospital is one of 27 hospitals that are members of the Indiana Rural Health Association and that gives them access to the Business Partner Network.

It’s basically a list of pre-approved companies that hospitals can choose from to help them with their business needs.

Director of Marketing and Physician Recruiting Corey Sparks says he hopes the network will help Greene County Hospital with physician recruitment. He says the hospital has had a hard time retaining doctors because it isn’t near a major city.

“We are a medically under served area here,” Sparks said. “So we have to do a better job of recruiting physicians and once they get here, retaining them, making sure they put down roots and stay here for a while.”

Indiana Rural Health Association Director of Business Development Deena Dodd says many rural hospitals are having a hard time keeping up with new regulations from the Affordable Care Act on top of day-to-day activities. And she says the business partner network helps alleviate those burdens by providing businesses that deal with rural hospitals on a regular basis.

“One of the elements that we’re really hopeful of is just providing that space for hospitals and providers to come together and share with one another and make it as comfortable and collaborative of an experience as possible,” Dodd said.

The Business Partner Network website also allows businesses and hospitals to share their expertise via blogs and webinars, something they say is increasingly important with the medical field’s fast-paced environment.

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