Kent Rogers was attending a heath fair here when he received word the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the nation's most powerful court.

Valley View Regional Hospital's Chief Executive Officer didn't seem surprised.

"Health care reform is coming regardless of what happened today," he said of the ruling. Indeed, Valley View has been preparing for reform and preparing to follow provisions of the Affordable Care Act for a few months. However, Valley View's preparation goes beyond merely complying with the ACA.

"Patient protection, affordability of care, patient safety, clinical ethics and reimbursement for quality care are important to us. People want value for there money not necessarily the lowest bidder when it comes to their health care," Rogers said. "We are seeing substantial reforms now," he said. "Commercial insurers are implementing reforms, too. We're experiencing it now."

Approximately a month ago, Valley View officials announced it was moving toward planning ahead for the ACA. Many of the provisions do not take effect until 2014.

“The national health care industry is changing rapidly and those changes significantly impact community hospitals like Valley View,” said Dean Peterson, Valley View board chair. “It’s important that our co-workers and community know we’re working with a consulting firm to study our processes, plan ahead and make strategic decisions that will ensure continued quality health care for our fellow citizens and financial viability for the hospital.”

The Valley View board of directors recently engaged a health care consulting firm to assist in mapping out a strategic plan focused on staying ahead of the opportunities, trends and potential pitfalls plowing down the pike.

“This plan will help us continue the tremendous progress we’ve made in the last four years,” said Kent Rogers, Valley View chief executive officer. “We’ve come a long way and that’s because we learned new ways of doing things, we sacrificed and we had faith.”

Following a financial crisis in 2008, the Valley View board entered into a management agreement with Mercy. That agreement was recently extended to a seven-year partnership.

Since making the move to engage Mercy, Valley View has seen its finances significantly strengthened.

“We are a very stable hospital now, both financially and in the delivery of quality health care to the community,” Rogers said. “The board wants to ensure the hospital stays on the right track and is prepared for the many changes soon to be implemented under the Affordable Care Act.”


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