Monument, Mayo Clinic partnership to bring resources, telehealth to Black Hills

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Monument and Mayo will be seen across the Black Hills beginning mid-January in place of the name Regional Health. Thursday’s dual announcement opens a lot of doors to patients in the region but what will that alliance look like?

The addition of the Mayo Clinic Care Network to soon-to-be Monument health will be the first in South Dakota and put patients in Wyoming closer to Mayo’s care. They’ll be able to receive access to knowledge and research without having to travel to the nearest campus in Rochester, Minn.

Once the alliance goes live, tentatively January 17, the line of communication will be open between caregivers and physicians at Monument and caregivers and physicians at the Mayo Clinic.

“If the patient says, I want another opinion and the physician here feels it’s appropriate, they would initiate an electronic consult that occurs in a secure way behind both firewalls, all information is protected and we turn around that information in two to three days,” said Medical Director at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. David Hayes.

The cost of those second opinions or “e-consult”are not passed on to insurance or the patient. The reason? Hayes says is because the “needs of the patient come first.”

For the two organizations to come together took years of vetting, looking at clinics, quality of care, safety, and finances. Hayes says the comprehensive evaluation and in-depth review of Regional Health is comparable to a joint commission review.

The Mayo Clinic Care Network launched in 2011. Hayes says talks with Regional Health date back to 2012 but now is the right time to launch the relationship to bring more of a presence in the region and provide a deeper, long-lasting relationship.

“This is done as a subscription, and so everything in healthcare under legislation under Stark Law has to be offered at fair market value and so there’s a formulaic approach and we do this as a subscription,” said Hayes.

While the alliance only adds resources to the region, leaders say the partnership will continue to grow which may mean more jobs down the road.

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