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Archive for Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Health Care Access Clinic still looking for funding to grow operation

Volunteer workers Fred McElhenie, left, and Larry Rankin remove some walls Monday  during renovations to a building at 330 Maine, where Health Care Access plans to relocate from 1920 Moodie Road. The organization still needs to raise about $80,000 before moving into the new location.

Volunteer workers Fred McElhenie, left, and Larry Rankin remove some walls Monday during renovations to a building at 330 Maine, where Health Care Access plans to relocate from 1920 Moodie Road. The organization still needs to raise about $80,000 before moving into the new location.

August 26, 2009

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Local health clinic still needs funding

A local health care clinic for the uninsured is looking for funds that will allow it to facilitate a building change. The move would allow the clinic to serve twice as many people. Enlarge video

How to help

Health Care Access still needs to raise about $80,000 to relocate into a bigger building at 330 Maine. The nonprofit agency provides medical care for uninsured Douglas County residents.

To donate money, call Health Care Access at 841-5760, ext. 209, stop by the clinic at 1920 Moodie Road or click on www.healthcareaccess.org. There also are donation cards outside the new location at 330 Maine.

Last year, Health Care Access served 1,703 patients, an 11 percent increase from 2007, and provided $4 million worth of care.

Health Care Access still needs to raise about $80,000 before it can relocate its clinic into a bigger space.

The nonprofit agency provides medical care for uninsured Douglas County residents in its location at 1920 Moodie Road. The 3,200-square-foot building is too small for the growing demand of its services, leaders say.

Nikki King, executive director, said the wait for an appointment is between nine and 10 weeks. The clinic leaves six appointments open daily for acute care, and they are filled within the first 10 minutes of opening.

“About 10 to 15 people are turned away every day. They are told to try back tomorrow, and, unfortunately, some of those are resorting to the emergency room because they can’t wait another day and another day,” King said.

Last year, Health Care Access served 1,703 patients, an 11 percent increase from 2007, and provided $4 million worth of care.

In June, the clinic raised enough money to match a $96,000 state grant and secure a new location at 330 Maine. The 6,000-square-foot building will have 11 clinic rooms instead of its current six. It will have more room for volunteers, storage and to simply take care of patients.

“We have additional providers in the wings waiting for us to start practicing up there,” King said, adding that it will be more convenient for doctors being located across the street from Lawrence Memorial Hospital and near other practices and nonprofit health agencies.

Once the clinic relocates, Health Care Access plans to turn its current location into a wellness clinic that will provide health resources and classes on topics such as smoking cessation, healthy cooking, weight loss and depression.

“We’ve had leaders in the health community come in and weigh in on what this should look like in the future,” King said. “So, we are starting to gather input from both professionals as well as focus groups with our target audience as to what they would like to see there.”

Health Care Access recently received a five-year extension from the city of Lawrence, so the agency will continue to pay $1 per year to lease the building.

“Due to space crunches, we have not done any classes on site for a couple of years now. When we were functioning on three or four clinic rooms, we still had meeting space,” King said. “We are very excited to get back to that and give our patients more complementary services as well.”

King is hopeful that they can raise the rest of the money to buy the new location and renovate it by the end of September and then relocate by mid-October.

“That really relies on raising the rest of the money,” she said.

The relocation project is estimated to be about $350,000.

To donate money, call Health Care Access at 841-5760, ext. 209, stop by the clinic at 1920 Moodie Road or click here. There also are donation cards outside the new location at 330 Maine.

Comments

cowboy 5 years, 4 months ago

At $2400 average per patient per year you could have bought them a Blue Cross Affordablue policy and for 25 bucks they could have gone anywhere in town and the docs would have been reimbursed for their time. This is why there needs to be a larger solution to healthcare. God bless all who work at HCA but you don't have the tools to get the big job done. If LMH would drop about 3-4 mill on you you might have a shot at a fully funded and staffed free clinic. All it takes is the will of the community to solve this problem.

another_view 5 years, 4 months ago

Does Cowboy really think individuals can buy a BC policy for $200/mo with a $25 co-pay??? Besides, BC will not insure many of these individuals, even if they paid $3,000 a month! That is the problem with our current system of health care.

What planet do you live on Cowboy? I fear that others also do not understand the magnitude of the uninsured issue in Lawrence or Kansas. Most uninsured simply do not get much non-acute or preventative care, even at HCA.

God bless them for their work though.

freestatehawk 5 years, 4 months ago

cowboy always recycles that "If LMH would drop about 3-4 mill....." every chance he gets. Nothing Econ 101 wouldn't cure, but he's probably waiting for someone else to pony up the $$$.

As the article states, they still need to raise $80k. Maybe cowboy can put his money where his mouth is. Or maybe "will of the community" means "anyone but me".

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

Cowboy - Show me your math. How did you come up with $2,400 per person per year?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Be thankful Health Care Access is on the planet.

Actually a ton of $25 donations would help considerably.

Health Care Access Clinic Healthcare for the Uninsured since 1988 1920 Moodie Road Lawrence, KS 66046 785.841.5760

cowboy 5 years, 4 months ago

Ok doubters , for starters I am not critical at all of HCA , I just find it woefully inadequate to address the uninsured's needs. I'm a fifty something with a cardiac history and prior cancer history , 247 per month for a lower end blue cross. That same policy a few years ago was quoted at close to 500.

The paperwork , waiting times , and accessibility are the roadblocks to delivering health care to the needy thus the load on the ER's whose treatment cost is multiplied dramatically due to the ER cost structures. One might argue that a smaller minor treatment clinic would not increase costs for LMH but might actually decrease them.

While we wait for the manna from the sky to come to us from Washington why not look at the local revenue available from the health care revenue stream. LMH feeds the doctor groups , keeps them extremely profitable and schedules full. LMH itself even after absorbing huge write offs each year is a profitable operation and the staff and management deserve large praise. My rant if you want to characterize it as that , is that the health care revenue stream needs to give back , and in a larger way than they have done to date. I would suggest a monumental increase in donated services from the medical community , local phama suppliers , and either a redirection of a percentage of endowment funds or a new effort to raise dollars for a serious effort to provide community healthcare to those in need.

So is my "rant" anti HCA or not ! I think not.

cowboy 5 years, 4 months ago

George , 4 million / 1710 patients = 2339 per patient in care dollars

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

The cost of a policy was running at 12,000-14,000 for care during 2009 without fear for a 12 month period. In 2010 I've seen costs as high as $18,310 for a 12 month period.

Paying anything less is like being under insured for expensive emergencies or long term cancer care. Plus co pays and deductibles are usually attached.

Health Care Access could become a co-op and sell memberships.... perhaps.

No matter it is a good asset to our community.

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

Cowboy - $4M worth of care includes all of the DONATED services. That doesn't mean it actually cost that much per person. The key in that sentence is "$4M WORTH of care." That what it would have cost if all of those 1710 had gone through private insurance which they did not have.


cowboy (Anonymous) says… George , 4 million / 1710 patients = 2339 per patient in care dollars


Last year, Health Care Access served 1,703 patients, an 11 percent increase from 2007, and provided $4 million worth of care.

cowboy 5 years, 4 months ago

cost is cost , I would imagine all those donated services were written off against incomes. that is cost. i'm just saying the effort is not large enough , plain and simple .

Merrill.....

Ryan Neuhofel 5 years, 4 months ago

merrill says, "Health Care Access could become a co-op and sell memberships…. perhaps."

I think this would be a great model for delivering primary health care for nearly everyone, including the "poor". Pre-paying a middleman (private insurance or government entity) for basic and routine care makes absolutely no sense. Local, direct-model 'cooperatives' (membership-based or otherwise) between doctors and patients could drastically reduce cost of health care for everyone. Local charitable organizations and doctors could provide care for a good portion of the community without any legislation from Washington.

Did I actually just agree with Merrill on something? (on a side note, Merrill's HR676 proposal is in direct opposition to direct-model of care)

puddleglum 5 years, 4 months ago

health care is too expensive. if you want to save money, buy your chinese junk at wal-mart and you will be rich like everyone else that has insurance.... what a bunch of moochers. obama is coming to bet you, i mean get you.

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