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New program will expand medicare access at three ND hospitals

BISMARCK --A new program announced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., will help expand Medicare access to three western North Dakota hospitals. The Frontier Community Health Integration Project will attempt to boost the quality of care at 10 hospita...

BISMARCK --A new program announced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., will help expand Medicare access to three western North Dakota hospitals.

The Frontier Community Health Integration Project will attempt to boost the quality of care at 10 hospitals in areas of the country where access to health services is limited by distance to care providers, including McKenzie County Healthcare Systems in Watford City, Southwest Healthcare Services in Bowman and Jacobson Memorial Hospital Care Center in Elgin.

“Folks in rural communities deserve the same quality, timely health care as anyone who lives in a city,” Heitkemp said Wednesday in a statement. “This effort will help improve access to health care for Medicare beneficiaries in rural areas of North Dakota and beyond -- including access to telehealth, ambulance services, and more. Quality health care is the backbone of successful communities, which is why I’ve been pushing to make sure rural America has a strong voice in federal health policy.”

The program in Elgin will allow the hospital to expand the number of beds used for skilled nursing and nursing facility care, while the program in Watford City will improve telehealth services and in Bowman, the program will benefit the hospital’s ambulance services.

The program aims to improve quality of care, increase patient satisfaction, and spend healthcare dollars more wisely and encourages hospitals to provide services that are not financially viable in rural communities.

Related Topics: HEIDI HEITKAMP
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