FALLON MEDICAL COMPLEX
Fallon Medical Complex (FMC) is a sole community health care provider for a rural population in excess of 7,200 people spread over seven counties. In addition to serving Fallon County, located in southeastern Montana, FMC also provides health care for three bordering Montana counties (Carter, Wibaux, and part of Custer) and three adjacent North Dakota counties (Slope, Golden Valley, and part of Bowman). Considered “frontier” by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, this region boasts less than two residents per square mile. The predominant industries in this area are agriculture and oil and gas extraction.
Fallon Medical Complex, located in Baker, MT consists of a system of health care entities structured under a charitable non-profit corporation. This system, or complex, of health care entities was created out of necessity. Facilities offering the next highest level of care are over 80 miles from Baker, necessitating a drive of nearly two hours in inclement weather. Several primary care physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners practice regularly in Baker and at the Wibaux Clinic in Wibaux, MT.
Operating Philosophy and Services
Fallon Medical Complex is predominantly a “primary care” provider for its service area. Accordingly, it provides family practice, preventative health, routine hospital and fully digital diagnostic services, 24-hour emergency services, long-term care, dental services, home-based skilled and personal care, and physical and occupational therapy. Any escalation in a level of care requires the patient to be referred to a larger facility. Being equidistant from three major cities – Billings, MT, Bismarck, ND, and Rapid City, SD – patients transferred out of Baker are afforded a choice in their destination.
FMC’s motto, “Friends Healing Friends,” conveys the hometown touch that sets the tone for how healthcare services are delivered to patients and long-term care residents. This personal touch has created strong support for FMC, as evidenced by an independent study conducted by the Montana Area Health Education Center in Bozeman, MT. This study indicated that 96% of FMC’s service area felt that it was very important for the facility to stay open. The study also found that FMC, at 94%, had the highest level of physician satisfaction of any previously studied Montana facilities; the next highest level of satisfaction was 74%. All in all, the overall quality of care was rated “excellent or good” by 85% of the respondents.
In an effort to provide comprehensive medical care to the community, various providers from neighboring communities routinely offer services to patients at FMC. For instance, chiropractic, obstetric/gynecological, and hearing aid clinics are routinely held in Baker.