This project involves the new construction of a 54,690 SF medical facility in rural Carthage, MS. The project is located in a severely distressed census tract bearing two primary designations of distress (poverty rate of 31.1% and non-metropolitan) and a secondary level of distress (Medically Underserved Area) as defined by the CDFI Fund. This facility will replace the current Carthage, MS facility and provide the residents of this community with additional advanced care options that were only available 60 to 70 miles away; thus, keeping healthcare dollars in this community and health care options to low-income persons unable to afford to travel for these services.
The facility is certified as a critical access hospital, meaning they are a rural hospital certified to receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare. This certification coupled with the fact that rural residents tend to be older, have lower incomes, and are more likely to be uninsured (US Census Bureau (2010), Current Population Survey, 2008 and 2010 Annual Social and Economic Supplements) indicates that a significant percentage of the patients served will be low-income persons and/or low-income community residents. Based on admission and outpatient visits obtained from the American Hospital Association, it is estimated that more than 5,704 low-income persons and/or low-income community residents would be served as a direct result of this project. The project is also expected to create an additional five new physicians in the community and retain the 111 jobs, of which approximately 25% of the positions will be available to low-income persons and/or low-income residents in this rural community with a population of 4,600. Additionally, more than 30 indirect jobs will be created as a result of the construction activities and ongoing operations of this new facility.
Total project costs are estimated to be approximately $22.77 million. The project is seeking $15 million in NMTC allocation of which CHHS plans to provide $9 million of allocation.
Neighborhood Distress Criteria:
- Census Tract: 28079040600
- Significantly Severely Distressed – Primary and Secondary
- Poverty rate is 31.3%
- Medically Underserved Area
- 169 construction jobs
- 111 retained jobs
- 5 created jobs
- 39 jobs accessible to LIPs/LIC residents
- 30 indirect jobs
- 5,704 LIPs served annually
- $29.6 million of annual economic output
Project Community Alignment
The project, a Critical Access Hospital, is located in rural Carthage, MS. The MS Department of Health’s State Rural Health Plan states that Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are the hub of the organized system of care for small rural communities. This is critical to MS as more than 56% of MS’s population lives in rural areas and 65 of 82, or 70% of MS counties are rural making it the most rural state in the nation. MS as a whole is considered a medically underserved state and the community in which the project is located is considered a medically underserved area. When MS residents are compared with national health statistics, they rank lowest in several overall health indicators, especially diabetes where in 2007 MS ranked among the highest in the nation for prevalence among residents at 11.1% and almost half of all deaths in MS are caused by cardiovascular disease. Based on this information and the need for health care in rural Mississippi, especially in this rural community, the Baptist-Leake Memorial Hospital project supports the future health care goals for the area of impact.