Twenty-three rural hospitals in South Dakota will receive a total of $278,037 in federal funding for projects to improve patient access, reduce medication errors, reduce hospital readmissions, and improve operations.
The federal Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program funding comes through the South Dakota Department of Health. Over the last 12 years, rural hospitals in South Dakota have received more than $4,078,000 in direct awards through the program.
Hospitals must be Medicare-certified as critical access to be eligible for the funds. Critical access hospitals receive a higher Medicare reimbursement rate and are eligible for federal funding for improvement projects. There are currently 38 critical access hospitals in South Dakota.
The funding helps rural hospitals make direct, positive impacts on patient care and health outcomes, noted an official from the Platte Health Center – Avera, one of the facilities receiving funds. "Without the additional supplemental financial assistance we receive from this program, we would not have been able to implement the programs and processes we currently have in place," said Jody Sternberg, RN, and Director of Patient Care Services at Platte. "This program makes a difference for critical access hospitals."
Sustaining essential healthcare services in rural and undeserved areas is a key objective of the Department of Health's 2020 Initiative.
Hospitals receiving Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program direct awards are listed below.
HOSPITALS RECEIVING DIRECT AWARDS THROUGH THE MEDICARE RURAL HOSPITAL FLEXIBILITY PROGRAM
Burke – Community Memorial Hospital
Canton – Sanford Canton-Inwood Medical Center
Chamberlain – Sanford Chamberlain Medical Center
Clear Lake, Sanford Clear Lake Medical Center
Dell Rapids, Avera Dells Area Hospital
DeSmet, Avera DeSmet Memorial Hospital
Flandreau, Avera Flandreau Hospital
Vermillion, Sanford Vermillion Medical Center
Viborg, Pioneer Memorial Hospital
Webster, Sanford Webster Medical Center
Wessington Springs, Avera Weskota Memorial Hospital
Winner – Winner Regional Healthcare Center
Britton, Marshall County Hospital
Philip, Philip Health Services
Wagner, Wagner Community Memorial Hospital - Avera
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