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Hospitals Now Known as Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center

Courtesy photo
Great River Health held ribbon cutting ceremonies in West Burlington (above) and Fort Madison to mark the beginning of Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center.

Great River Medical Center in West Burlington and Fort Madison Community Hospital became partners nearly three years ago, and now they have combined into a single hospital with two campuses and a new name:  Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center.

The facilities will remain under the umbrella of Great River Health

Matt Wenzel, President and CEO of Great River Health, said they made the change so they could be designated a Sole Community Hospital. He said the classification helps rural hospitals receive what he called “an appropriate reimbursement” from the Medicare program.

“Look at the instability in healthcare across the country,” Wenzel said. “Many hospitals – and I would probably even say most -- are struggling just to make more revenue than expense. This helps for us to continue to be stable and to get to our vision quicker.”

He said the pandemic caused a hardship for many hospitals – including those in the Great River Health system – which emphasized the need for the new designation.

The name change to Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center went into effect Thursday, July 1.

Congress created the Sole Community Hospital program in 1983. You can read more about the program here.  

Also Thursday, Great River Health added the Henry County Health Center under its umbrella, though Wenzel said it will remain separate from Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center.

Wenzel said Great River Health also operates a large outpatient center in Keokuk and has several other clinics throughout southeast Iowa.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.