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Lowville hospital will seek critical-access designation

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County General Hospital will seek critical-access designation in hopes of seeing millions of dollars in increased Medicaid and Medicare revenues each year.

The county-owned hospital’s Board of Managers by a 10-0 vote Wednesday authorized administrators, with assistance from Stroudwater Associates, to submit an application to the state Office of Rural Health for the proposed designation shift. The process is expected to take three to four months.

“Making this move is not requiring us to cut any services,” said board member Michael F. Young.

Stroudwater in a recent study projected that the facility could see a roughly $3 million annual benefit over the next few years by gaining critical-access designation.

However, newly hired interim Chief Financial Officer Richard Borschuk, who has past experience working with critical-access hospitals, said he believes the study actually under projected the benefits by about $300,000 annually, making the three-year upside closer to $10 million.

While now licensed for 54 acute-care inpatient beds, the hospital, if designated as a critical-access facility, would be limited to no more than 25 inpatients at any given time. However, hospital officials believe that threshold should be attainable.

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