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Horizon Health Care, Inc. To Open Community Health Center in Aberdeen

Horizon’s newest community health center will provide patients with personalized, quality, primary health care with the extra benefit of enhanced resources like the Sliding Fee Program, participation with Avera and Sanford networks and acceptance of most health insurance. The funding will help Horizon cover start-up costs and allow Horizon to offset the costs of providing reduced patient fees through the Sliding Fee Program.

“Our main focus is to offer quality health care that is accessible to the community as a whole,” said John Mengenhausen, CEO of Horizon Health Care, Inc. “And with Horizon’s Sliding Fee Program, partnerships with providers in neighboring areas, as well as expanded medical services, we’re excited about being able to serve even more people in the Aberdeen and surrounding communities.”

The new community health center will provide the Aberdeen community with a wide range of health services such as family medicine, pediatrics, emergency treatment, x-ray, lab services and mental/behavioral health. The Aberdeen office will begin as a paperless office with the implementation of Horizon’s Practice Management/Electronic Medical Record and telemedicine capability.

Horizon hopes to address the growing need for dental access in South Dakota by partnering with local dentists to ensure patients have access to dental care.  When Horizon completes a partnership, low-income and Medicaid patients will be able to receive affordable primary and preventative care as needed.

Scheduled to begin serving patients 120 days from September 13, 2013, Horizon is actively looking for the location of the new health center and new staff recruitment is underway. Horizon’s existing providers in the surrounding areas will be available for training and to provide specialty services.

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Horizon Health Care, Inc. Receives $300,000 Three-Year Rural HIT Workforce Development Grant

The grant will fund the “It’s a HIT!” –Health IT Training for Rural Healthcare Providers initiative  which includes Prairie Health IT Network Members including Horizon’s 14 medical clinic locations and two additional rural FQHC organizations, Prairie Community Health with five clinics in central and northwest South Dakota and allPOINTS Health Services, with two clinics in southeast South Dakota, for a total of 21 primary care clinics across the state.

“Through the “It’s a HIT!” project, a health IT training program for incumbent rural South Dakota workers will be developed. The training will include skills enhancement in areas such as technology adoption and meaningful use of electronic medical records,” said Scott Weatherill, CIO of Horizon.

The ‘It’s a HIT!’ project will include the creation of an online HIT curriculum as well as a certified electronic health record training and apprenticeship program for its participants.  As part of the “It’s a HIT!” program, Prairie Health IT Network members will partner with Dakota State University (DSU) in Madison, SD.

DSU will provide a key role in the success of the “It’s a HIT!” program through curriculum design and development as well as publishing the HIT training online. The training will incorporate adult learning styles and be delivered across the state using various technologies used by the Prairie Health IT Network.

“DSU will play a pivotal role in the “It’s a HIT!” project. The curriculum must be relevant, engaging and accessible for rural health workers in order for it to be a success.  Having access to DSU’s staff and student expertise will ensure the curriculum achieves the project goal,” says Lindsey Karlson, Network Director of the Prairie Health IT Network.

ORHP announced the release of the Rural Health Information Technology Workforce Development Program in the spring of 2013.  The purpose of the program is to support formal rural health networks that focus on activities relating to the recruitment, education, training and retention of HIT specialists. This program also provides support to rural health networks that can leverage and enhance existing HIT training materials to develop formal training programs, which will provide instructional opportunities to current health care staff, local displaced workers, rural residents, veterans and other potential students. Ten to fifteen grant awards were given across the nation for an estimated $4.5 million of program funding.

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