DOUGLAS, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Copper Queen Community Hospital (CQCH) CEO will be honored by the Arizona Rural Health Association with the 2017 Inspiring Rural Health Program for the Douglas Emergency Department.
This award "award honors excellence in the provision of health services to rural and/or other medically underserved people."
After the Douglas Hospital closed its doors in July, 2015, CQCH saw a need for emergency services for the Douglas area and opened Quickcare service shortly after the hospital closed. Soon after that construction began on the Douglas Emergency Department that opened its doors back in April.
Thanks to the DED opening, residents no longer had to drive the 40 minutes through the mountains to be treated in Bisbee. The DED has saved money for Douglas community, by reducing transportation and treatment costs.
There has been a trend in Phoenix to create Freestanding Emergency Departments (FSED's) as interim level ED providers. The state AHCCCS program is going to cut reimbursement to FSED's in Phoenix, Tucson and other urban areas. Extensive lobbying by CQCH to showcase the difference between rural and urban has been accepted by the state of AZ. CQCH on behalf of the City of Douglas was able to persuade the AZ Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to not reduce the payment for the new Douglas FSED. A special clause in the new regulations exempts FSED's who are opened in rural areas, where the hospital has closed to be payed as a regular ED. This is substantial in making the FSED in Douglas a full ED and reimbursed as such.
The Douglas Emergency Department is a full service Emergency Department with lab, radiology, and full diagnostic abilities. Additionally CQCH pioneered Telemedicine in its Bisbee location and brought those services to Douglas.
When the Telemedicine program is used at the hospital, Douglas Emergency Department, as well as the rural health center sites, connecting local residents with leading physicians across the state to diagnose and treat conditions.
The Copper Queen Telemedicine program includes Telecardiology, Teleconcussion, Teleendocrinology, Telebehavioral Health, Telepediatrics, Telestroke and Teletrauma. With Telemedicine patients are able to go to a CQCH hospital, Emergency Department or clinic and via video technology be diagnosed without the hassle and added cost of transportation. This helps patients receive faster treatment in a familiar environment, and without the worry of excessive medical costs.