Grant: $948,449 - Health Resources and Services Administration - Mar. 27, 2009
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Award Description: Unity Health Care, Incorporated (Unity) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are the largest private organization providing primary medical care to homeless, low-income, and uninsured District of Columbia (District) residents. Unity’s mission is: 'to offer a citywide network of quality health and human services to the medically underserved regardless of race, ethnic background, or ability to pay and to help empower clients to better their lives. In 2008, our health centers provided services to 81,629 unduplicated, racially and ethnically diverse and largely minority patients, in all Wards of the District. Unity operates over 20 health care centers and mobile outreach programs in the areas of greatest need to serve school-age children, their families and people with chronic conditions such as mental illness, diabetes, hypertension and HIV/AIDS. Unity serves hard-to-reach populations, such as the homeless, substance abusers and ex-offenders. Fifty-three percent of our patients are either uninsured or are insured through the District public insurance program District of Columbia Health Care Alliance. The District has been hard hit by the current economic crisis. Overall unemployment rates have risen 3.4% to reach 9.3% in a year. Our patient population is 75% African American, a population where unemployment rates run higher than regional and national averages. As unemployment grows we expect to see an increase in demand for services. In order to meet increased demand for services in our community we plan to increase services in Ward 8, an area of the District that has an acute need for more health services, by extending service hours at Anacostia Health Center and Re-Entry Health Centery (Re-Entry). Staff will be hired at Re-Entry to meet increased demand for services. Re-Entry provides services to men and women returning to the community from correctional facilities. There are several unfunded positions throughout Unity that would go unfilled without this opportunity. They include an electronic health record (EHR) Clinical Analyst and EHR Trainer. The EHR is critical to Unity’s strategy to improve business and clinical efficiencies which will result in service capacity increases. In addition, we plan to add other support personnel that will improve our overall clinical and business efficiencies, helping us to provide better quality care for more patients. These support positions are necessary to help with clinical work flow and productivity. Increases in these areas will allow us to serve more patients in our health centers. The major impact of this project is that we expect to improve our ability to meet unmet demand for health services. This will have a direct impact on the homeless, uninsured and publicly insured patients, who comprise the majority of patients that we serve. This project will result in an increase in service capacity, especially in Ward 8. We expect to increase the number of new unduplicated patients by 3,375 and the number of patient encounters by 13,500.
Project Description: Unity Health Care, Inc. has seen 477 new unduplicated new patients, 112 of whom were uninsured, as a result of the Increased Demand for Services (IDS) grant. Because of the IDS funding, in mid-May, Unity was able to open an additional weekday evening clinic session and a Saturday session to respond to increased demand. This increases our overall capacity and also allows another option for patients with daytime jobs who may have difficulty taking time off to see a doctor. During the second quarter, we hired an additional full-time physician with IDS funding. The provider is stationed at our Re-entry Health Center where we serve ex-offenders returning to the District community. Using IDS funds, Unity has been able to fill 3 full-time positions related to our EHR implementation. These staff have allowed us to successfully complete three waves of EMR implementation since June, with about 20 sites now live. With the new practice management and EHR system, we expect to increase capacity to serve more patients through more efficient scheduling, reducing registration time, and improving overall patient flow. Unity was also able to fill 2 full-time positions for our new Scheduling Center that began operation in Spring 2009. Because of the centralized system, patients now have greater access to scheduling by phone and reduced phone waiting times. We believe this will assist in responding to increased demand for services, while strengthening our infrastructure to allow for continued expansion of services. Two full-time nurse care manager positions, supported by the IDS funds, were filled to provide chronic disease management. By providing individual education sessions, the nurse care managers free up providers to see more patients. This will help us meet the demand for services, as well as improve quality of care and patient outcomes.
Jobs Summary: Using IDS funds, Unity has been able to fill 3 full-time positions related to our EMR implementation. These staff have allowed us to move forward with the project. We have completed three waves of EMR implementation since June, with about 20 sites now live. Unity was also able to fill 2 full-time positions for our new Scheduling Center that began operation in Spring 2009. All but one of our sites now utilize a central scheduling line that has resulted in increased scheduling and utilization at our sites. To increase access for patients, we added staffing for extended service hours at two sites. As these positions are part-time for several hours during the week, the total cumulative FTE is 0.57. Two full-time nurse care manager positions, supported by the IDS funds, were filled to provide chronic disease management. By providing individual education sessions, the nurse care managers free up providers to see more patients. During the second quarter of funding, we hired an additional full-time physician with IDS funding. The provider is stationed at our Re-entry Health Center where we serve ex-offenders returning to the District community. (Total jobs reported: 9)
Project Status: More than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Mar. 27, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.