Thompson Announces Rural Hospital Grant for Punxsutawney Area Hospital

Sep 26, 2013 Issues: Healthcare

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today announced that Punxsutawney Area Hospital, in Jefferson County, is one of 20 hospitals in Pennsylvania that will receive funding under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP).  The funds will support information technology upgrades used for documenting the diagnosis and treatment of patients. 

“Healthcare delivery to our rural communities can be challenging,” stated Rep. Thompson. “These types of grants level the playing field with our urban counterparts, and will assist Punxsutawney Area Hospital in upgrading their current technologies to meet the changing industry standards and better serve the people of Punxsutawney and the surrounding communities.” 

Punxsutawney Area Hospital will receive approximately $7,500 that will be used to support the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, the new diagnosis and procedure code sets used by hospitals to group and identify patient encounters. Hospitals are required to make the transition to ICD-10 by October 1, 2014.

“The conversion of the country’s coding system to ICD-10 is quite challenging, and requires significant investments of both time and money from the medical community,” said Jack Sisk, Chief Financial Officer at Punxsutawney Area Hospital. “This grant will assist us in offsetting our costs as we make this important coding transition.  We truly appreciate Congressman Thompson’s efforts in helping us secure these monies.”

In Pennsylvania, a total of 20 small and rural hospitals with fewer than 50 beds, will receive funds through the SHIP grant.  The SHIP funds are initially awarded to the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, which provides technical assistance to hospitals throughout the commonwealth.

The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health was established at Penn State University in 1991. It is a joint effort by the university’s College of Health and Human Development and the Penn State Outreach and Penn State Extension. The office is funded by the federal Office of Rural Health Policy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Penn State.