Access to offer assistance in healthcare enrollment

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Access Family Care received a grant designed to assist patients in enrolling into affordable health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Market- places or Medicaid.

The $140,059 grant provides funding to hire, train, and certify Outreach and Enrollment specialists as part of the progression of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"The ACA is a moving target that changes as it progresses," said Dr. Debra Davidson, chief operations officer at Access. "The ability to provide dedicated and well-trained staff whose sole duty is to educate patients on increased opportunities for healthcare coverage will be a huge help for people eligible to enroll." All 22 Missouri community health centers were recipients of awards totaling $2,947,351. These health centers served 438,406 patients through 196 clinic sites last year, with 34.68 percent of those patients having no insurance. Uninsured Access patients treated last year totaled 41 percent. "Access has embraced the opportunity to further serve our most vulnerable populations in need of quality health care," Davidson said.

With their outreach and enrollment funding, Missouri health centers expect to hire 59 additional workers who will assist 62,102 Missourians with enrollment into affordable health insurance coverage.

"One of the special characteristics of community health centers is that they work to increase wellness in the communities they serve," said Don McBride, chief executive officer. "We are highly regulated, we monitor and report on patient health outcomes, and we meet high standards for excellent care."

Access Family Care was founded in 1996 as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) for the purpose of increasing access to primary health care for those who lack medical insurance coverage. As an FQHC, Access receives a federal grant from the Bureau of Primary Health Care designed to offset the expenses associated with providing sliding fee discounts to patients who demonstrate economic need.

Access Family Care in Cassville offers both medical and dental services. The facility is located at 4016 North Main St. and can be reached at 417-847-0057. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. with late hours until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Last year, ACCESS met or exceeded state and national healthcare goals as demonstrated with being the only Missouri health center to achieve state recognition for those efforts.

"Missouri ranks as one of the nation's unhealthiest states," McBride said. "We are working hard, and with patient cooperation, we're making a difference and improving wellness in our communities. That's our job."

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