Dells hospital awarded for Medicare status
February 19. 2013 3:28PM
Avera Dells Area Hospital is one of 23 rural hospitals in South Dakota to receive federal grant dollars to improve facility operations.
From the federal Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, the $6,325 the Dell Rapids hospital was awarded will improve patient access, reduce medication errors and reduce hospital readmissions, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.
“Avera Dells Area Hospital is thrilled to have been awarded this grant through the Critical Access Hospital Grant Program,” said Lindsay Flannery, Avera Dells Area Hospital administrator. “Such grant dollars allow us the opportunity to continually move our organization forward.”
The state health department, which administers the program, awarded $278,037 to rural hospitals statewide as a part of the federal program, and 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, stated a health department release.
Flannery said the Avera Dells Area Hospital plans to put the grant dollars received toward the implementation of a medication barcode labeling system, making medication administration more efficient.
“Our plan is to have such technology implemented within the next several months,” Flannery said.
Sustaining essential healthcare services in rural and underserved areas is an objective of the Department of Health’s 2020 Initiative.
Avera Flandreau Hospital also received $7,825 through the program.