Healthcare Happenings: Another year of change and progress at NUMC

Greetings from the team at the New Ulm Medical Center Allina Health. Year 2018 is shaping up to be another year filled with much change and progress at the medical center. I’ll briefly cover updates in improving access, quality, and affordability of our health care services.

Providing high quality and safe health care is our first priority for all who entrust their care to NUMC. The dedication of uur team of caregivers was recently again recognized nationally by HealthGrades as being the only Minnesota hospital to receive their highest patient safety award for the sixth year in a row. The opioid crisis across the state and nation has caused clinics and hospitals to focus efforts on more effective pain management treatment. Across NUMC, our prescribing of opioids is down more than 50 percent from two years ago as our providers find new ways to help patients treat pain while also preventing the potential for developing an addiction or selling of prescription pills in the community.

Providing convenient access to physician and health services is more important than ever in rural communities. New Ulm Medical Center now has over 50 providers across 19 specialties in our clinic providing care annually to more than 115,000 patient visits. Our primary care and walk-in clinic are now staffed by 30 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Dr. Andy Reeves, Neurologist, added EEG’s, EMG’s, and boosted our overall neurology services by joining the team Jan. 1. Dr. Grace Ouyang, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, started Aug. 1 and is glad to be back in the area as she grew up in Mankato. Speaking of coming back home, we are also excited to welcome back New Ulm native Dr. Angie Honstad, Orthopedic Surgeon, who starts seeing patients in early September. Our pediatric department will also get a boost from Dr. Obehioye Okojie, who will be joining our team on Oct. 1 as a Pediatrician with a special interest in integrative medicine, acupuncture and nutrition. In order to accommodate our growth in providers and services we have just begun an internal renovation to add more clinic space.

Providing affordable health care is also paramount if we are going to help our communities realize their health potential. Allina Health has partnered with Aetna to form a new health insurance company in Minnesota to bring more competitive pricing to health insurance offered in our communities through brokers and agents. Our local small and large businesses in Brown and Nicollet Counties can now purchase Allina Health Aetna insurance for their employees which will provide enhanced benefits and also should save employers an estimated 10 percent or more on premiums compared to other plans historically available in our market. In October, Allina Health Aetna will be offering a Medicare Advantage health plan to provide our seniors excellent benefits for Part A, Part B, and Part D coverage with access to and coordination from our team of physicians and providers across Allina Health.

On behalf of our 719 Allina Health employees and physicians in New Ulm, it is a privilege to serve our patients and communities.