The North Platte Valley Medical Center (NPVMC) received notice last week from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) indicating that NPVMC meets the location and distance requirements to become a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). With CMS’s review and approval of these requirements, NPVMC is now able to seek initial CAH Medicare certification via DNV Healthcare USA Inc., an internationally recognized accreditor, which entails an in-depth survey of the medical facility.

To meet the location and distance requirements set forth by CMS, a CAH must be more than a 35-mile drive from another hospital, or be more than a 15-mile drive from another hospital in an area with mountainous terrain or only secondary roads. NPVMC is located 45 miles from the nearest hospital in Rawlins.

CAH Medicare certification is necessary for NPVMC to receive cost-based reimbursement from the federal government for services provided to Medicare patients.

, NPVMC nears finish line in Critical Access Hospital certification, new interim CEO appointed, North Platte Valley Medical Center

“We’re excited as we approach this milestone in reaching Critical Access Hospital designation and we owe it all to our hardworking team,” said NPVMC COO Eva Marie Popelka. “None of this would have been possible without them.”

NPVMC has been surveyed by DNV before. In October 2023, DNV awarded NPVMC a quality-based accreditation after it was determined that the facility met or exceeded patient safety standards. The accreditor will arrive without advanced notice to perform another survey as part of the final steps in NPVMC gaining CAH Medicare certification.

This exciting step forward for the facility comes as Jeff Mincy departed from his role as CEO to pursue a Christian ministry opportunity in his home state of Texas. Mincy had been in the leadership role since 2021. Mincy’s last day was Friday, May 17th. Scott Duke was chosen by the hospital’s board of directors to fill the position as Interim CEO of NPVMC, and started on Monday, May 20th.

, NPVMC nears finish line in Critical Access Hospital certification, new interim CEO appointed, North Platte Valley Medical Center

Duke brings with him more than 30 years of experience in healthcare administration and has been in leadership roles with rural hospitals and healthcare organizations in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Notably, Duke was previously the President and CEO of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations. Duke also served as Vice President of Regional Operations for the Billings Clinic where he was responsible for strategic and operational oversight for a network of CAHs and outpatient clinics in Montana and Wyoming.

The change in leadership and major step forward in the CAH Medicare certification process occur just as NPVMC prepares to celebrate its one-year anniversary of opening on May 30th.

Read more about Interim CEO Scott Duke here