Veterans Memorial Hospital clarifies mammogram availability; Trustees discuss possibility of Provider Based Designation Clinic within the hospital

by Brianne Eilers

CLARIFICATION: In a previous article regarding Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH), it was stated that VMH will no longer be able to offer diagnostic mammography. To further clarify this statement, VMH will still be able to do yearly 3D screening mammograms. Should the screening mammogram reveal anything suspicious, an additional diagnostic mammogram or procedure is needed. In that case, patients will now be referred to a facility of the patient’s choosing to follow up on these abnormalities that showed up in the screening mammogram.

The reason for those follow-up diagnostic mammograms not being available at VMH at this time is that Gundersen Health System’s radiologists read all of the mammograms and x-rays that are taken at VMH. Gundersen, along with many other hospitals, is experiencing a shortage in breast radiologists, which makes them unable to travel to area hospitals to cover these additional diagnostic mammograms or procedures. The Standard apologizes for any confusion the previous article may have caused. Patients will still be able to get a screening mammogram with VMH and will then be referred on should anything abnormal be detected.

The VMH Board of Trustees met for a special meeting Tuesday, August 6. The primary focus of this meeting was to discuss the possibility of a Provider Based Designation Clinic operating within the hospital.

In years past, space on the third floor of the hospital has been utilized for clinics. Provider based care is a Medicare designation that allows the hospital to treat certain departments as a part of the main hospital, and it would be treated as an outpatient department. The space provided for such a clinic would have to be designated as 100% hospital usage 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7). Providers will be required to have privileges at the main provider (VMH) and the same monitoring and oversight as other departments of VMH.

Medical records would be integrated into a system so that each site can retrieve the other’s records and inpatient and outpatient services would be integrated as well. The finances of VMH and the clinic’s finances would also be fully integrated, and there would be shared costs and expenses. The location’s costs and revenue would be integrated into the VMH financial report. Patients to the clinic would also have their visits applied to their deductible or co-pay.

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