Reinvestment Fund is financing the construction of a new 21-bed critical access hospital in a very low-income and medically underserved area in rural Louisiana.
Riverland Medical Center serves rural Concordia Parish in eastern central Louisiana, about 180 miles north of New Orleans along the Mississippi River. Concordia Parish residents experience the challenges of persistent poverty as well as high rates of chronic conditions such as obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.
The new facility will include a hospital building and medical office building that are right-sized for the community’s emergency room, inpatient, skilled nursing and outpatient health needs to help maintain local health services. The $37 million project replaces Riverland Medical Center’s obsolete facility, which was built 50 years ago.
After 40 years operating as a hospital, Riverland became a critical access hospital (CAH) in 2004. CAHs are a designation given to eligible rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CAH were enacted in 1997 to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by providing 101% cost-based reimbursement for inpatient and outpatient services under Medicare and, in 14 states like Louisiana, also under Medicaid.
The hospital provides inpatient care including intensive care and skilled nursing and outpatient emergency room, operation, laboratory and therapeutic services. It expects to accommodate 24,478 visits and 11,347 patients annually at capacity, up 9% from its current 22,469 visits and 10,462 patients. Of its annual patient visits, 30% are covered by Medicaid and 40% are covered by Medicare.
Reinvestment Fund is providing a $15 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation for the project. Hope Enterprise Corporation and US Bancorp are providing NMTC allocations as well. US Bank is the NMTC investor. The equity created through the NMTC transaction is being paired with permanent financing from USDA direct and guaranteed loans. Reinvestment Fund is also providing a bridge loan that will fund the NMTC leverage loan. Hope Enterprise Corporation and Self Help are providing a portion of the bridge loan.