Appleton (MN) Area Health Services, a community-owned critical access hospital, has entered a volume purchasing agreement with Sanford Health, effective Jan. 1.
"Rural hospitals face many challenges, and this associate relationship with Sanford Health allows us to continue to provide quality healthcare for people in the community. It also increases potential for growth in services," said Jason Carlson, CEO of Appleton Area Health Services.
Sanford Health, based in Sioux Falls, SD, and Fargo, ND, has several relationship tiers with hospitals in the region, ranging from associate, managed, leased and owned status. The associate agreement with Sanford Health allows Appleton Area Health Services access to Sanford's volume purchasing power, saving money for the local hospital.
"This new relationship also expands education opportunities for staff and Appleton Area Health Services to gain and share 'best practices' knowledge with the entire Sanford Health system," Carlson said.
Appleton Area Health Services includes the 15-bed critical access hospital, a long-term care facility, congregate living facility, home health and a primary care clinic. It employs approximately 170 full and part-time people.
"Both of our organizations believe healthcare should be delivered as close to home as possible," said Sanford Health President Ed Weiland. "Sanford Health has a significant presence in Minnesota, and by working together we can create a virtual medical hub for the area with potential for sharing expertise, resources and providers.
Sanford Health is the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation, with a presence in 110 communities in eight states that includes 30 hospitals, 111 clinics, more than 800 physicians in 70 specialties, and more than 18,000 employees. Sanford Health is also developing clinics in Belize and Ireland.