Central Baptist takes over Russell County Hospital

Russell County Hospital in Russell Springs will be managed by Lexington’s Central Baptist Hospital, at least for the next three years. The deal announced this week is the latest in a growing consolidation of rural hospitals with larger, urban facilities, expected to accelerate under federalhealth reform.

“The three-year agreement creates an opportunity to provide greater
accessibility to a wider range of health services in Russell County,
while exploring ways to reduce costs and maintain affordability of
services,” the hospitals said in a press release. “The management agreement will allow creation of a broader
continuum of care, including enhanced alignment of physicians and
hospital services.”

Russell County Hospital has 25 beds and 170 employees. It is a critical-access hospital, meaning it limits admissions and patient stays in return for slightly higher reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid. Chris McQueary, chairman of the hospital’s board, said in the press release, “This strategic partnership will allow us to work more
closely with a leading health care system to provide high levels of care
in the most cost-effective way.”

Central Baptist named Robert Ramey the CEO of Russell County Hospital. He has worked at Central Baptist for 17 years, most recently as administrator of Baptist-Physicians’ Surgery Center, the release said.

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