Herington Healthcare Clinic Progressing

Plans continue to progress for a healthcare clinic in a small community on the Dickinson / Morris County line that recently lost its hospital.

Abilene-based Memorial Health System is in the process of building a clinic in Herington.

The Memorial Health System maintenance crew has been hard at work in Herington. The walls are up and painting has started. Another exciting update is that all staff has been hired for the clinic. They are currently training in Abilene to make for a really smooth transition once the Herington office opens.

“We were very hopeful for a March opening date, but it is looking more like May before we will be seeing patients,” said Harold Courtois. “We have encountered a few obstacles that have set us back; things we just can’t control. Weather conditions made the roads unfavorable for our maintenance guys to travel to Herington. Also, if anything should happen here in Abilene that requires immediate attention, we need their expertise here.” MHS is very fortunate to have a maintenance department staffed by people with a variety of skills; from plumbing to carpentry and everything in between. “Staff being out due to illness and medical leave are some other setbacks we have been dealing with.”

The main issue that will delay opening until May is the credentialing process. This can take up to 90 days and sometimes longer.

“Some people have asked why we don’t just have a current provider work in Herington until the provider we have hired for that location is credentialed to work there. If only it were that easy,” said Courtois.

He went on to explain that there are two sides to credentialing. Provider credentialing is a process that checks to make sure that the provider is qualified with the proper education, training, and licensure before they care for patients.

The other side of credentialing happens with the insurance companies. The provider must meet all the requirements of the insurance company. Why is this important? In order for a provider to bill your insurance company for services, they must be credentialed with that particular insurance company.

“Even though all of our providers are credentialed with MHS, we have to put them all through the credentialing process again because we are adding a new location. We want to be able to send any one of our providers, including APPs and doctors, to Herington at any given time if needed.”

The main provider in Herington will be an APP (Advanced Practice Provider). It will still be very important for patients to have established care with a doctor. MHS is working on a plan that would have all of the doctors on a rotation to work at the Herington office so that patients may schedule annual appointments and follow-ups with them, and avoid making the drive to Abilene if possible.

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Phot via Memorial Health System