ANACONDA – Community Hospital of Anaconda has been recognized by iVantage Health Analytics as one of 16 hospitals in the nation that stand out as consistent rural health leaders.

For the past five years, iVantage has put out its annual strength index, a composite measure of the strength of critical access hospitals in the areas of inpatient care, outpatient care, population risk management, cost, charge, quality, outcomes, patient perspectives and financial strength.

Each year, iVantage – a Maine-based business analytic service company – names the top 100 hospitals in the country, and only 16 have earned recognition every year. Community Hospital of Anaconda is the only Montana hospital on that list.

“Community Hospital of Anaconda is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care and safety,” said Steve McNeece, president and CEO. “We are honored to be recognized. ... I am grateful to our employees and medical staff for their untiring commitment to the service of others and their focus on patient care and safety.”

To conduct the study, iVantage researchers evaluated more than 1,300 Critical Access Hospitals using public information – Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market the ranking.

According to iVantage, 50 rural hospitals have closed in the last five years and 283 more are at risk of closure based on more than 60 performance characteristics. If these hospitals were to close, 700,000 Medicare patients would have to seek care farther from home and 86,000 jobs could be lost in rural communities, resulting in an estimated $10.6 billion loss to the nation’s GDP.