PIERRE - Twenty-three hospitals in rural South Dakota will receive more than $278,000 in funding for projects to improve patient access, reduce medication errors, reduce hospital readmissions and improve operations.

The money comes from the federal Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program.

The funding amounts to each hospital range from $6,325 to $15,000.

In order to be eligible for the funding, hospitals must be Medicare-certified as critical access. There are 38 critical access hospitals in South Dakota.

Over the past 12 years, rural hospitals in South Dakota have received more than $4 million in awards through the program.

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