12-county Southern Prairie off to good start

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Medicaid costs lowered; care improving

Southern Prairie Community Care is changing the model for providing medical care to the 12-county area’s 23,000 Medicaid patients while offering the chance for substantial savings.
August 18 Southern Prairie’s Executive Director Mary Fischer and Medical Director Dr. Norris Anderson met with the Swift County Board of Commissioners to update it on the organization’s progress over the past year.
In 2013, the 12-county Southern Prairie awarded funding for a three-year pilot program. Its goal was to provide better, more cost-effective care to Medicaid recipients in the region. If successful, it was hoped the program could become a model for other states across the nation or even become a model for the nation. 2014 was Southern Prairie’s first year of operation with patients.
Swift County 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 in Marshall.
Southern Prairie is set up as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). It has a contract with the Department of Human Services to manage the cost of care for the Medicaid population in the 12-county region.

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