Mission: Mccone county health center is dedicated to providing residents and patients with optimal and achievable health care services, implementing programs and services that will provide for the overall health and well-being of its service area, and centralize health care services.
Programs: Mccone county health center, inc. (mchc), a non-profit organization, is located in circle, montana and provides medical services to our community and surrounding areas. Mccone county hospital was established in 1923 and mccone county nursing home was established in 1977. Mccone county hospital closed in august of 1990 and then mchc became the 1st medical assistance facility (maf) in the nation. On april 1, 2009, mchc terminated our nursing home license and became a 25 bed critical access hospital (cah); which includes utilizing beds for acute patients and long-term care residents. We are one of the few "frontier" healthcare facilities in montana that provides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency coverage with only two mid-level medical practitioners available. Mchc's employed physician assistant-certified (pa-c) has worked at our facility as a pa-c since 1990 and as our sole provider from 1999 to july of 2013; and worked as a rn and director of nursing at our hospital prior to becoming a pa-c. A second pa-c joined our facility on july 8, 2013. The pa-c's treat approximately 20 patients per day in our clinic; and provide medical services to patients at mccone clinic and our cah (emergency department/acute/long-term care). Mchc has approximately 60 employees. Our pa-c's receive locum relief approximately once a month from a pa-c who travels 385 miles one-way (helena). A pharmacist consultant from glasgow (100 miles), a dietitian consultant from glendive (50 miles) and a physical therapist from lindsay (25 miles) provide contracted service to the cah. Mchc health care services include the following:1) frontier critical access hospital (cah) is licensed as a 25-bed cah. However, averages of 21 beds are utilized for long-term care residents and 4 beds for acute patients in this frontier cah swing bed program. Mchc also utilizes an additional 2 beds for observation patients. 2) mccone clinic is open 5 days a week, except on holidays, and is staffed by 2 pa-c's, office nurse, medical assistant, and office assistant. During clinic hours, the pa-c's are also responsible for providing care to patients in the critical access hospital (cah), which includes emergency, acute, skilled and long-term care residents. The pa-c's share reponsibility for being on-call for the emergency department and cah patients. 3) our laboratory department is managed by a clinical lab scientist and is a full-service laboratory. The laboratory is also able to run diagnostic testing that has been referred from outlying medical practitioners and utilizes billings clinic for reference lab services. 4) our radiology department has limited licensed x-ray technicians and is capable of providing x-rays required by other medical practitioners for referral appointments. Also, the department is directly linked to larger acute care facilities for immediate radiologist over-reads for emergency and trauma cases. 5) adult day care is provided through our cah. This service allows people to have some relief from caring for their dependant loved ones. 6) our mid-level medical practitioners and employees have made patient and community education a priority; which includes smoking cessation, diabetic education, community suicide awareness, stroke awareness, medicare part d education and planning. 7) the cah provides iv therapy and treatment services to local post surgical patients, therefore receiving continued care close to home. 8) we offer local cancer patients the convenience of receiving selected chemo therapy services at our facility, therefore relieving them of traveling out-of-town. 9) some medical equipment is loaned out to patients at no cost. 10) we offer telemedicine, which is a direct satellite link between the patient and their specialized medical practitioner. This allows the patient advanced care without the need for travel. In addition, telemedicine allows us to provide high quality education to our staff, emergency medical services, and patients without the expense of travel. 11) the health center maintains records to identify and monitor the level of charity care it provides. These records include the amount of charges foregone for services and supplies furnished under its charity care policy, the estimated cost of those services and supplies, and equivalent service statistics. The amount of charges foregone, based on established rates, was $3,171 and $10,988 during the years ended june 30, 2014 and 2013, respectively. 12) we provide a portion of the support service to the redwater valley ambulance services. 13) since july 2009, we contract with a physical therapist to provide out-patient services on-site. The physical therapist also provides in-patient services to our acute patients and long-term care residents.