NVH soon to roll out ACEs program

North Valley Hospital Director of Ancillary Services Noreen Olma shows of the hospital's new portable ultrasound unit at the NVH board of commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23. photo by Brent Baker

North Valley Hospital Director of Ancillary Services Noreen Olma shows of the hospital’s new portable ultrasound unit at the NVH board of commissioners’ meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23. photo by Brent Baker

TONASKET – North Valley Hospital is entering the final stages of preparations to roll out its Affordable Clinic Exam (ACEs) program beginning in April, said NVH Patient Financial Services Manager Jana Symonds at the Thursday, Feb. 23, district board meeting.

Preparations have been underway since September, when the board decided to initiate the program to be run through the Tonasket and Oroville Family Medical Clinics.

“We’re ready to go with ACEs, and we’ll have our first care provided April 1,” she said. “We’re getting all the set-up done. It should be a real positive program for the community.”

The program is designed to provide affordable health care in the clinics and decrease charity care and bad debt costs.

“It’s an affordable alternative to costly health insurance,” Symonds said.

Director of Ancillary Services Noreen Olma showed rolled the hospital’s new portable ultrasound unit into the meeting to show how easily it could be transported to wherever it was needed.

She said that choosing what to include on the new unit had been similar to buying a new car.

“What we chose was based upon what the providers wanted for what kind of exams they do in the ER and in OB,” Olma said. “That’s why we have two different transducers on it to use.”

Long Term Care Division Manager Judy Gladden said her facility had had its first meeting with a consultant from Harmony Health Care.

“He spent a lot of time getting acquainted with our systems,” she said. “He’s teaching us how to get paid for what we’re doing already, ut maybe don’t know how to put things together to get the highest possible rate. It could bring our average Medicare rate up by a couple hundred dollars.

The nice thing is they check us for compliance at the same time. We’re getting more than just how to get compensated; we’re being audited at the same time.”

The Board of Commissioners next meets Thursday, March 8.

About Brent Baker

Brent, is a former reporter/photographer for the Gazette-Tribune and sometimes works as a freelance sports reporter for the G-T. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent worked as a full time reporter/photographer at the G-T from 2011 - 2014).

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