State awards $278,000 to 23 hospitalsPIERRE — 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 re-admissions and improve operations.
PIERRE — 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 re-admissions 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 million 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 impacts on patient care and health outcomes, noted an official from 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 under-served areas is a key objective of the Department of Health’s 2020 Initiative. Area hospitals receiving Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program direct awards are listed below.
-Burke: Community Memorial Hospital, $11,394.
-Chamberlain: Sanford Chamberlain Medical Center, $12,586.
-Wessington Springs: Avera Weskota Memorial Hospital, $14,256.
-Winner: Winner Regional Healthcare Center, $11,400.
-Wagner: Wagner Community Memorial Hospital-Avera, $6,916.
-Platte: Platte Health Center-Avera, $15,000.
-Parkston: Avera St. Benedict Health Center, $15,000.