Follow John Linkedin
Email John Email
Health Care
Aug 12, 2016

Cutting Health Care Costs Through Community Care

Sponsored Content provided by John Devaney - Chief Executive Officer, Cape Fear Clinic

This Insights was contributed by Navid Amlani, Pharm. D., a pharmacist at New Hanover Regional Medical Center and volunteer with Cape Fear Clinic.

The World Bank estimates the United States spends approximately 17 percent of its gross domestic product on health care. Hospitalizations and emergency department visits contribute significantly to these health care costs.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the average cost per hospital stay in 2012 was $8,500, an increase of about 2 percent from 2008 to 2012. The AHRQ also reports that, since 2000, the increase in emergency department visits outpaced the growth of the U.S. population. Half of these visits resulted in admission to the hospital.

Even without a hospital admission, a patient may face significant costs for visits to the emergency department. A recent study published in PLOS One showed the average cost for an emergency department visit was about $1,200, more than the average American pays each month for rent. Further, the study found that Medicaid patients were generally charged the most.

Clearly, emergency department visits and hospitalizations are major contributors to health care expenditures. Therefore, it is of great importance to find ways to prevent emergency department visits and admissions to the hospital in order to contain costs. Two ways to prevent hospitalizations are proper medication management and provision of vaccinations.

Since emergency department use reflects the health needs of the greater community, the AHRQ reports that access to high-quality, community-based care can prevent visits to the emergency department. Likewise, a recent report from the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation states that improving patient medication adherence is central to reducing hospital readmissions. According to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccines help decrease the worldwide burden of infectious diseases, curb antibiotic overuse and subsequent development of resistance and reduce both direct and indirect costs.

Taken together, these statements show that patient access to a primary care provider, effective medication management and timely provision of vaccines can help prevent emergency department visits and subsequent hospital admissions. For patients recently discharged from the hospital, these services may lessen the likelihood they will be readmitted.

Cape Fear Clinic, a local community-based clinic, provides compassionate, affordable, patient-centered care for low-income individuals and families in the Cape Fear region. They provide comprehensive medical and pharmaceutical care services. Since the clinic cares for patients regardless of ability to pay, they are in a unique position to help reduce emergency department visits, hospitalizations and overall cost burdens for the most vulnerable patients.

Cape Fear Clinic offers access to high-quality primary care. Low-income individuals are ensured comprehensive, patient-centered care and follow-up, as well as access to much-needed medications and vaccines. Since these services are offered at little or no cost to the patient, patients are much more likely to participate in regular medical follow-up.

Because the Cape Fear Clinic offers in-house pharmaceutical services, they are able to provide comprehensive medication management. Through a variety of mechanisms, including manufacturer programs, institutional patient-access programs, and direct donations, the clinic is able to ensure consistent access to prescription medications.
Further, patients can be effectively counseled on how to use their medications properly. The clinic’s pharmacy also offers a comprehensive vaccination program at little to no cost to its patients.

Through all of these services, the Cape Fear Clinic doesn’t just serve the region’s low-income patients; it also provides a valuable service for the region at large. Through the provision of quality primary care services, pharmaceutical care and routine vaccinations, clinic staff and volunteers are able to help keep people out of the emergency department and the hospital, thereby contributing to both better health outcomes and a reduced cost of care to both patients and the community.

Photo by Mark Steelman, c/o Greater Wilmington Business Journal
 
Cape Fear Clinic, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, was founded in 1991 as Tileston Health Clinic, Inc. and provides healthcare to those in our community who would otherwise be unable to access care. The clinic serves charitable patients who do not have health insurance and have incomes of no more than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines, and those with Medicaid. For more information please visit capefearclinic.org or contact us at (910) 343-8736.
 

Cf clinic 16jan blk
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Billcoleman lopw headshot

Reaping The Benefits Of Patience

Bill Coleman - Live Oak Private Wealth
Kellyerola headshot lcflc

Be Informed – Know Your Hospice Benefit

Kelly Erola - Lower Cape Fear LifeCare
Chris coudriet

Lower Fire Insurance Premiums Can Help Lead To Economic Development

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government

Trending News

Airport Authority Votes Out ILM Director Julie Wilsey

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 10, 2021

In Pender County, More Than 1,000 Acres Sold To Homebuilder, Partners

Cece Nunn - Jun 10, 2021

CFPUA Announces New Executive Director, Approves Budget

Staff Reports - Jun 9, 2021

New Office For Engineering Firm Flows Into Downtown Wilmington

Cece Nunn - Jun 9, 2021

Antonio’s Of Monkey Junction Moving To New Location

Jessica Maurer - Jun 9, 2021

In The Current Issue

Heading Back To The Boardwalk

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk and related attractions are a staple of the tourist season and has an impact on local businesses....


Agency Steps Up To Help The Jobless

The pandemic highlighted the haves and have-nots, amplifying the need for organizations like StepUp Wilmington....


NHRMC Forming Community Advisory Group

As part of its acquisition by Novant Health, NHRMC is putting together an advisory council made up of community members from the tri-county...

Book On Business

The 2021 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100