Expanding Access to Primary Care
Adventist HealthCare works with a nonprofit group to improve the health of medically underserved residents
As part of its mission to improve the health of people in the community, Adventist HealthCare is staunchly committed to providing access to high-quality health care to all community members regardless of their ability to pay. Earlier this year, Community Clinic Inc. (CCI), a nonprofit, community-based health care agency serving residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties who are uninsured or underinsured, opened on Washington Adventist Hospital’s Takoma Park campus. Over the past few months, the clinic has helped to improve access to primary and preventive care for medically underserved local residents.
The partnership between Washington Adventist Hospital and CCI has made it possible to specifically target, through discharge and transition planning, underserved patients at high risk for hospital readmission. The program, which is among the first collaborations in Maryland between a hospital and a federally qualified health center, reflects the growing change in Maryland and across the nation on how health care is delivered, linking patients with primary care providers and disease management specialists, with the goal of improving their health.
Response To A Need
“Having Community Clinic Inc. on the grounds of the hospital enables our caregivers to provide an unbroken transition from hospital to home for at-risk patients,” says Joyce Newmyer, president of Washington Adventist Hospital. “Patients have direct access to the clinic, where they can make appointments with a new primary care physician as soon as they leave the hospital.”
Throughout the years, Washington Adventist Hospital has continued to be a regional leader in caring for the underserved. In 2012, the hospital provided nearly $34 million in charity care and community benefit to those who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Community benefit consists of Washington Adventist Hospital’s programs and activities that provide treatment or promote health and wellness as a response to identified community needs.
Bridging The Gap
In addition, the Adventist HealthCare Center for Health Equity and Wellness, through research, innovative training, partnerships, local outreach and services, allows Washington Adventist Hospital and other health care and community organizations to provide quality care to everyone by bridging the health care access gap and building health care equity for minority and underserved populations in the region. The new clinic brings a patient-centered medical home to the Takoma Park campus to provide needed medical care to high-risk populations.
Notes Bill Flynt, MD, CEO of Community Clinic Inc., “By working hand in hand with Washington Adventist Hospital, we’re able to connect with people in need of follow-up care and help them stay on track to achieve optimal health.”