WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced the selection of two rural Mississippi hospitals to receive technical assistance intended to help them ensure continued access to care by improving their financial standing.

The Tippah County Hospital (TCH) in Ripley and Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital in Rolling Fork are among six health care institutions in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri chosen to participate in the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) technical assistance program.

Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, championed FY2017 funding for this pilot program with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to provide technical assistance to rural hospitals in the Delta region. Congress appropriated $2.0 million for this effort.

“This program is intended to help Delta hospitals learn how to ease financial pressures, which have led some community hospitals to close their doors,” Cochran said. “I’m pleased the hospitals in Ripley and Rolling Fork will have an opportunity to adopt practices that could help ensure they are able to continue providing care in their local communities.”

The Tippah County Hospital is a county-owned critical access hospital, while the Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital is a stand-alone prospective payment system acute care facility. The Tippah County facility was cited this week in a Mississippi State Auditor report, “Assessing the Financial Health of Mississippi’s Independent County-Owned Rural Hospitals.”

Hospitals and clinics selected for the DRCHSD program will take part in a multi-year collaboration with the DRA and Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA) to improve financial and operational performance and to enhance telehealth capabilities.

The rural community hospitals will receive technical assistance on more efficient local health care delivery system practices, care coordination, social services integration, emergency medical services access, and workforce recruitment and retention.

Other health facilities selected to receive DRCHSD technical assistance include: Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, Natchitoches, La.; Daughters of Charity Services of Arkansas, Dumas Ark.; Pemiscot County Memorial Hospital Hayti, Mo.; and Iron County Hospital in Pilot Knob, Mo.

Senator Thad Cochran Press Release