Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    


Finding a Healthcare Home


 

Safety Net Consortium Initiative Links Community to Primary Care

While the debate over access to healthcare rages on nationally, a collaborative partnership in the Nashville area is fostering increased awareness and utilization of area resources and services to promote a healthier community. My HealthCare Home, a joint effort of more than 50 area clinics through the Safety Net Consortium of Middle Tennessee, looks to connect some of the community's most vulnerable members to a primary care home for improved health and wellbeing.

My HealthCare Home is a project that came about as part of the Collaboration College, an opportunity for nonprofit organizations alongside public and private partners to align expertise for the greater community good. The new website - myhchtn.org - connects people to participating clinics and providers to establish primary care relationships.


Carol Westlake

"As a consortium, we talk a lot about need and how to let people know what exists and how to access the safety net so people aren't just accessing care in the ED," said Carol Westlake, chair of the Safety Net Consortium and executive director of the Tennessee Disability Coalition. "We want to build medical homes for folks so they have access to well care to build good health, as opposed to only episodic care when things go wrong."


Mike Kessen

Mike Kessen, project consultant on behalf of the Safety Net Consortium, added, "It's helping people connect to a regular source of care so that they can live healthier lives overall."

Centerstone, Faith Family, Interfaith Dental Clinic, Matthew Walker, Meharry Medical Group, Mental Health Cooperative, Mercy, Nashville General, Neighborhood Health, Primary Care and Hope Clinic, Saint Thomas, Salvus, ShadeTree, Siloam, The Clinic at Mercury Courts, and UCHA are all among the participating clinics. Additionally, Westlake said the Metro Nashville Department of Health has been a key partner throughout the process. "The Health Department has a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). There is a particular goal in there about system navigation and getting people to services. My HealthCare Home is a piece of the commitment we made to the CHIP on improving navigation, especially for the underserved."

The partners, however, have long recognized people cannot access what they don't know exists. Through research with focus groups, the Safety Net Consortium has found nearly half (48 percent) of uninsured individuals in the area aren't fully aware of services available within the community. "We have developed a number of strategies over the years to connect people to the safety net," Westlake said, adding the new My HealthCare Home platform is another way to engage the community in the mobile manner in which many people now expect to link to information and resources.

Kessen said the first phase of the project was building a database with a comprehensive list of resources. "The website is absolutely vital to having information available," he noted. Kessen added that as the site was being developed, a patient advisory committee helped test usability and provide feedback on how to build awareness.


Elisa Friedman

Now the group has moved to the next phase. "Given the launch was April 20, we're really working on the marketing plan and getting the word out," noted Elisa Friedman, director of Planning and Community Engagement for the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance.

She added the awareness message is important for both community members who would benefit from services and for healthcare providers and discharge planners so they know this new resource exists. "It would be a great tool to get people to the right care, at the right place, and right time when they are discharged from the hospital," Friedman pointed out.

Westlake said, "Many years ago when we started the Bridges to Care program, we actually had case managers embedded in EDs that would help direct people to the appropriate level of care." Now, discharge planners and hospital case managers can use My HealthCare Home in a similar manner to help patients access needed care within the community. Friedman agreed, noting the website is a 'one-stop shop medical home.'

Westlake added it's important for consumers and providers to know the clinics all use a sliding fee scale based on income and family size. She stressed My HealthCare Home isn't just for the uninsured as the clinics also accept TennCare and other payment sources.

Kessen added additional enhancements are being made to the site. "As we move into the next phase, we are going to be able to translate the website into eight languages in addition to English," he said, noting that was one of the suggestions made by the patient advisory committee.

"Long term," Friedman said, "we're looking at those high level measures in terms of reducing cost and impact to the healthcare system. Ultimately, this is really about population health ... raising the health of the community."

Westlake concurred, "If we can get the population healthier, the entire healthcare system will be more efficient and effective ... everybody benefits."

WEB:
My HealthCare Home
Safety Net Consortium of Middle Tennessee

 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

Bipartisan Group of Senate Health Committee Members Introduce Bill to Spur Development of New Non-Addictive Painkiller

Read More

There's a New Bipartisan Budget & Most Healthcare Organizations are Happy

Read More

AHA Supportive of Bill Addressing Community Rights to Set Smoking Policy

Preemption Repeal a Breath of Fresh Air for Tennessee: The fate of local smoking ordinances impacting the secondhand smoke Tennesseans breathe may finally be given to communities at the local level. Municipalities throughout Tennessee would be allowed to craft their own local smoking policies protecting the health of citizens through a bill making its way through the Tennessee Legislature.

Read More

Healthcare Collaboration

Key healthcare associations and payer organizations look to simplify the pre-authorization process with a recently released consensus statement outlining key areas for improvement.

Read More

The Battle over 340B

The battle over 340B continues as hospitals serving some of the nation's most vulnerable patients worry what will happen if $1.6 billion in cuts go through.

Read More

Position on Governor Haslam's TN Together Initiative

The Tennessee Medical Association Board of Trustees has adopted the following position on Governor Haslam's TN Together plan for addressing the state's opioid abuse epidemic.

Read More

Doctors Aim for Another Big Year on Capitol Hill

With the 2018 legislative session in full swing, TMA is ready to advocate on behalf of its more than 9,000 physician members.

Read More

DOJ Signals New Approach to Frivolous Qui Tam Actions

The Department of Justice recently signaled a possible move toward dismissing more qui tam cases deemed to be meritless.

Read More

Wall Street Weighs In for 2018

Top Wall Street analysts shared their industry predictions for 2018 at the Nashville Health Care Council signature event.

Read More

The Impact of Clinical Trials in Tennessee

With nearly 1,000 clinical trials in the state, a new study finds biopharma research supports 52,000 jobs in Tennessee and ads $11.7 billion to the economy.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
Carol Westlake, Elisa Friedman, Medical Home, Metro Nashville Department of Health, Mike Kessen, My HealthCare Home, Primary Care, Safety Net Consortium of Middle Tennessee, Safety Net Providers
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: