U.S. Representative Andy Barr today toured Saint Joseph Telehealth Primary Care Clinic-Campton, part of KentuckyOne Health. The clinic, which opened in August 2012, provides convenient access to primary and specialty care for the community through a unique Telehealth Care Network established by KentuckyOne Health, the largest health system in the Commonwealth.
The Wolfe county clinic is one of two in Kentucky funded by grants from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the federal government’s Social Innovation Fund and. Saint Joseph Telehealth Primary Care Clinic-Clay City opened in Powell County in July 2012.
Staffed by nurse practitioners, nurses and office coordinators, the clinics use telehealth technology to collaborate with physicians and specialists. The technology not only provides additional access to specialty care, but also minimizes the need to travel to see a specialist therefore reducing the costs of care. A social worker was added to the team to serve both clinics with enhanced services. From January through June of 2013, the social worker helped 185 patients complete financial assistance paperwork to obtain drug assistance for 1,804 medication orders.
The Telehealth Care Network is part of KentuckyOne Health’s efforts to improve access to quality medical care throughout the Commonwealth. Kentucky health statistics also supported the need for primary and specialty care in both Powell and Wolfe counties. Based on the Kentucky Institute of Medicine Report of 2007, Powell County ranked 112th and Wolfe County ranked 120th on health status out of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
“We established these clinics make quality health care accessible to the communities in and surrounding Powell and Wolfe counties,” said Shelley Neal, vice president of ambulatory care, KentuckyOne Health. “If we are to be successful in our mission to create a healthier Kentucky, we must continue to implement new technologies and services to reach our state’s medically underserved communities.”
From January through June 2013, the clinics saw a combined total of 1,417 patients from 37 unique zip codes and 34 Kentucky counties. Patients have benefited from telehealth specialists in both cardiology and pulmonology. Specialists in urology, obstetrics and gynecology, endocrinology, neurology and psychiatry will be available soon.
More clinics to come
The KentuckyOne Health Community Based Health Delivery Model creates a multi-phased innovative Telehealth Care Network infrastructure, to provide unique primary care access points with virtual access to specialty services through telemedicine technologies, for patients in Powell, Wolfe and other rural Kentucky counties within the KentuckyOne Health service area.
Although more than 40 percent of Kentuckians live in rural areas, only 28 percent of physicians practice in rural areas, creating a critical gap in access to care for much of the Commonwealth. KentuckyOne Health plans to expand its Telehealth Care Network and open two additional clinics in 2013-2014 through a one-year continuation grant totaling $250,000 by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Social Innovation Fund.
The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is a nonprofit, organization that works to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians. The Foundation makes grants, supports research, holds educational forums and convenes communities to engage and develop the capacity of the Commonwealth to improve the health and quality of life of all Kentuckians
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service, is an innovative approach to transforming lives and communities that uses limited federal investment as a catalyst to grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of strong results.