Swift County considers affiliation with PrimeWest

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Multi-county group works with Medicaid population

With an upfront cost of nearly $1 million, Swift County is now looking at affiliating with PrimeWest Health to provide Medicaid recipients health care coverage.

Payment into the system would be made in 2019 and 2020, but the county board is hoping that the payment period can be extended to three or four years for the unexpected expense.

When Swift County joined 11 other counties in forming the Southern Prairie Community Care cooperative more than seven years ago, it was looking to change the model for providing care to the region’s 27,000 Medicaid patients. It was also looking for savings over what Medicaid programs cost through UCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

However, in the past year Avera Medical Group, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Carris Health, an organization serving central and southwestern Minnesota through an affi  liation with St. Cloud-based CentraCare Health, have created their own Integrated Health Partnerships to serve Medicaid patients.

This will mean a loss of 20,000 members in the 12 counties and is expected diminish savings to the point where Southern Prairie “can no longer continue to function as they have been,” a memo to the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their June 19 meeting stated. That means the counties will be on their own again if they do not affiliate with another organization.

It is expected that Southern Prairie would be left with just 7,400 Medicaid recipients. In addition to Swift, the cooperative covers Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Redwood, Rock and Yellow Medicine....


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