Southern Prairie Community Care health initiative has important 2013 goals
by Reed Anfinson, Editor
One of Swift County’s top goals for 2013 is to see the launch of the Southern Prairie Community Care health initiative with the goal of providing better, more cost-effective care to Medicaid recipients.
Jointly funded by state and federal governments, Medicaid is managed by the states. It provides health coverage to an estimated 50 million people nationwide including the elderly, people with disabilities, children, low-income families and pregnant women.
It is a “government insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care,” according to the Health Insurance Association of America.
Swift is one of 12 counties in southwestern Minnesota that is a partner in the Southern Prairie Community Care group. The other counties are: Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Redwood, Rock and Yellow Medicine. Its office is based in Marshall.
Swift County had budgeted $41,624 for its share of Southern Prairie’s expenses in 2013, but because the group has received several grants, including an $85,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, its cost this year has been reduced to $13,875.
Representatives of the counties and medical providers started meeting in 2006 to discuss establishing the regional county-based health initiative, Southern Prairie’s Executive Director Mary Fischer told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting May 6.
“We have been working with clinics and hospitals in the region on what the Southern Prairie model should look like and we feel very good about the level of involvement we have had and the buy in we’ve seen,” she said.