Improving Patient Health
Saint Vincent Clinic is a doctor's office for low-income uninsured adults. In order to qualify for services, patients must have no insurance, not even Medicaid or Medicare, have incomes at or below 175% of the federal poverty level, and reside in Leavenworth County.
In 2015, Saint Vincent Clinic cared for 328 patients, 30% of whom were new to the clinic, provided 3,008 patient visits and services, and helped our patients access specialty care, well-woman care, labs and x-rays, and over 1,500 medications worth $485,000.
As the only safety-net clinic in Leavenworth County, Saint Vincent Clinic fills an important need. As is true with most safety-net clinics, by the time a person comes to Saint Vincent Clinic to become our patient, they have often waited a long time to seek care, are very sick and have complex medical conditions that are poorly controlled and require significant resources to get under control.
Our highly dedicated staff and volunteers do everything they can to find volunteer providers who will accept referrals for our patients and serve patients for free or at greatly reduced costs. While not every need can be met, we are able to meet with much success in getting the care our patients need.
The central focus of Saint Vincent Clinic is to improve the health of people who otherwise would not receive care. We measure how well we achieve this though patient surveys and reviews of service data. The strongest measure of clinical effectiveness is Saint Vincent Clinic's evidence-based, patient-centered Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program. Saint Vincent measures quality of care as well as patient health outcomes quarterly. CQI is reviewed by medical staff to improve patient care.
Saint Vincent Clinic is committed to achieving health improvements for all patients. Current patient care measures address care consistency, well-woman care, smoking cessation, and chronic disease management. One of our patient health outcome measures focuses on our single largest patient group; who have diabetes. Measures include control of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Increasing Access to Healthcare
Serving the People of Leavenworth County: Saint Vincent Clinic's target population mirrors the poverty demographics of Leavenworth County. Our patients are poor or low-income, nearly 66% are women, about 72% are Caucasian, 16.5% are African-American, 7% are Latino. Behind the statistics are the lives of people who struggle to make ends meet, working sporadically or for small employers that are not able to offer health benefits. Our patients know that without a safety-net clinic, they would likely have no other avenue to seek treatment.
In caring for the people of Leavenworth County for 30 years, the services of Saint Vincent Clinic have grown and changed to meet the emerging and crucial needs specific to this community.
Responding to Community Needs: The clinic meets the priority health care needs for the uninsured adult populations of Leavenworth County by providing primary health care (urgent care, chronic disease management and preventive care), medication assistance and referrals for specialty care.
The availability of primary health care for the uninsured helps to keep people from accessing care at hospital emergency departments and helps them to better manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, which if untreated lead to complications and possible hospitalization.
Helping to Build a Stronger Community
Impact of Access to Healthcare on Leavenworth County
Saint Vincent Clinic fulfills an important function in Leavenworth County. In addition to serving the people of Leavenworth County by providing access to quality, compassionate health care, Saint Vincent Clinic also helps to create a vital community by decreasing the impact of uninsurance rates on community economic development and social services resources and helping to improve the workforce productivity by keeping people healthy and working.
Impacting Economic Development and Social Service Resources
Saint Vincent Clinic contributes to the social and economic vitality of Leavenworth County by mitigating the effects of poverty and uninsurance on finite community resources.
When people are unable to access quality health care, the costs to a community are substantial. People without healthcare are unable to control the effects of chronic disease, and therefore are less likely to be able to care for family, achieve and maintain full employment, or increase wage earning capacity through school and training. Families are less financially stable because of decreased wages and/or medical debt. Families are less socially stable due to the stress of medical and financial consequences of lack of healthcare.
In communities without safety-net clinics, there is an increased risk of losing health care capacity because of over- and improper use of emergency services, overburdened medical providers limiting access or leaving the community, and cuts in public health programs like communicable disease surveillance.
Access to quality primary health care has been shown to have positive effects on a community's economy and social well-being. The demonstrated positive effects include increased public health system capacity, improved population health, fewer costs associated with uncompensated care from other medical providers in the community, increased workforce productivity, and decreased public program costs related to family financial stress.