Archive for Monday, October 10, 2011

Heartland Community Health Center seeks $22,300 from Douglas County

October 10, 2011


A clinic that helps low-income patients get basic medical care, counseling and food is turning to Douglas County government for help becoming a community health center that would be assisted financially by the federal government.

Heartland Community Health Center, located on the lower level of the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza at Sixth and New Hampshire streets, is asking Douglas County commissioners for $22,300. The money would allow the clinic to follow through with a $78,000 project to implement electronic health records and integrated practice management, a requirement for the federal program.

Commissioners will consider the request during the first phase of their Wednesday meeting, which begins at 4 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.

The center — backed by a coalition of churches, individuals and social service agencies — would expect to increase its current load of 5,000 patients a year to as many as 12,000 during its first year as a federal community health center. The annual total could reach 20,000 or 25,000, center officials say, and include a shift of focus from “simply treating sickness, toward primary prevention and to a culture of health and wellness.”

The county last month stepped in to provide Theatre Lawrence with $100,000 — $20,000 a year over five years — to help the organization reach its fund-raising goal for a new theater complex in northwest Lawrence. Commissioners also provided Van Go Mobile Arts with $20,000 to help offset $30,000 in state budget cuts, soon after decisions for the 2011 county budget already had been finalized.

The clinic’s request adds to the number of organizations seeking financial help as they try to navigate a financial environment in which the state is cutting, donations are declining and needs are rising, said Craig Weinaug, county administrator.

“I anticipate this won’t be the last request that we get,” Weinaug said, noting that both Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and the Lawrence Community Shelter likely would seek county assistance before discussions begin for the 2012 budget.

Also during Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners will consider:

• Approving an agreement with Social and Rehabilitative Services to help keep the Lawrence SRS office open. Douglas County would pay the state $225,000 — $112,500 a year, for two years — under the agreement. The city of Lawrence also would pay the same amount.

• Amend Horizon 2020 to reflect inclusion of a Southeast Area Plan.

Commissioners also plan to meet at 6:35 p.m., also at the county courthouse, to consider amending Horizon 2020 to include the Inverness Park District Plan, involving property south of Clinton Parkway.


cowboy 6 years, 7 months ago

All of the local clinics should be consolidated into a comprehensive health care provider for the community.Provide a mix of uninsured and insured clients to maximize usage of donated and gov't funds and services .The current mish mash of multiple limited providers duplicates admin costs and limits the services provided. Lawrence is a very generous community and the health care industry a very profitable one. Unlike most places Lawrence could take matters into their own hands and provide very good care to those in need. People should not have to go camp out to get health care.

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

Problem is that Heartland is faith based and Health Care Access is not. I doubt the two organizations would want to partner up. Both serve the community well, and neither one has much of an administrative staff. Most of their time is spent giving direct care to patients. If its not broke, why fix it.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 7 months ago

If I owned some type of business and the feds mandated that I come into compliance with some new requirement, they would not give me any money. As noble a cause as the clinic is, they too, should stand on their own two feet.

Folks, the sock is empty. We already provide transportation, housing, mental, dental and the gambit of services for many, some of which could work if they wanted to.

We squander tax dollars on things like the new library, and let things we really need go. Lawrence needs to get its priorities straight.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd say your priorities are pretty screwed up if you think basic medical services should be denied simply to fulfill your John Wayne fantasies.

DustyAcres 6 years, 7 months ago

At least people in town voted for the library. To bad we couldn't have voted on the $100,000 to the Theatre Lawrence. That was a waste of money that could have went to someplace that really helps people. Can we get a refund since they went over their fund raising goal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

Since exceeded their goal by well over $200,000, I wonder if they do plan to return the local monies. There's been no specific announcement on it that I'm aware of.

hedshrinker 6 years, 7 months ago

Healthcare is a very profitable business? I'm sorry, what world do you live in? If you mean it's a bottom line basic requirement for people being able to experience any quality of life, I would agree. If you mean it's an honor for providers to be able to give of their expertise to people who require those services I would agree. But for most providers, especially in the public sector, doing that work is not a cash cow by any stretch, even in the private sector it's a precarious financial existence battling insurance companies and medical product and pharmaceutical companies for the tools required to deliver care. They are the only ones in this equation anymore getting rich. Providers and agencies are struggling every day for their very existence and to fulfill their mission without completely burning out their professional and administrative staff.

cowboy 6 years, 7 months ago

Take a quick look at LMH annual financials , they and their employees do very well. There is a clinic here in kansas that has merged insured and uninsured clients and is providing solid comprehensive care and financially its working.

The problem with the model now is you're either at the poor clinic or at the for profit clinic. The poor clinic can't take advantage of for profit customers to offset some of the costs of the free / subsidized clients. then when you split the effort up between multiple partial providers you get a lot of very noble intentions producing a less than adequate result.

The other problem is that certain services aren't provided. Take Douglas County Dental , you can get a tooth pulled but not get a crown or implant. That would compete with the local for profit dentists a bit too much.

Julie Branström 6 years, 7 months ago

The Douglas County Dental Clinic does much more than pull teeth. We provide lots of fillings, some root canals and crowns in addition to many preventative services! We don't do implants, however.

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