The hospital in Douglas has been recognized as a Critical Access hospital. The National Rural Health Association named Memorial Hospital of Converse County as one of the top 100 Critical Access hospitals in America.

Sphere of care:

"It's a designation given by Medicare, basically, but what is means is that we have 25 beds here at the hospital and we're designated as critical access, meaning there's no other hospital within 25, 30 miles of our location."

Karl Hertz, marketing director for MHCC, said the top 100 critical access hospitals were chosen from a pool of 1,327 and that the criteria are 56 measures of the Hospital Strength Index.

Affordable Care Act:

"Down the road there'll be great benefits and the reason this whole performance index was created was because of the new 2010 Affordable Care Act; hospitals are going to begin to be measured on their performance. And so this index--it's called the Hospital Strength Index--it compares 56 different measures to help us identify how we're going to rate once the Affordable Care Act goes into effect."

Even though the top 100 designation only lasts for a year, said Hertz, MHCC was proud to get recognized and they plan to continue and even improved their hospital services.

Future progress:

"It looks at what services we offer. It looks at our financial strength and kind of sets benchmarks for us so we can go forward from there."