For individuals without health insurance, the impact of a diagnosis of a chronic disease can be devastating and can affect the individual’s quality of life in many ways. In addition to life threatening physical symptoms, these chronic illnesses cause severe stress on the individual and their family and often requires people to make difficult choices between paying for medication, food, housing, utilities and other basic needs. They do not have the discretionary funds for preventive care and may delay treatment for symptoms until the conditions have worsened.
Our role in the community is to provide a safety net for those who are uninsured, to minimize the costly use of emergency departments for non-emergent primary care and to improve health outcomes. An integrated care model offers primary care, behavioral health and specialty care, including neurology, dermatology, gynecology, physical therapy, and orthopedics. It is augmented by individualized case management and patient education. We have become a medical home for many in our community, who would not have access to healthcare otherwise.