September 28, 2012
As part of its decades-long commitment to caring for the community, John C. Lincoln Health Network has authored a pair of reports that assess community health, articulating strategies for how its two hospitals will address those needs over the next three years.
The reports combine data gathering, research and wide-ranging interviews with community partners. They carefully survey the hospitals’ services areas and challenges.
John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital
The Deer Valley Hospital community assessment identifies a list of 10 needs and outlines an action plan that addresses each need. The top two issues facing the John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital community are a primary care physician shortage and health care coverage.
Primary Care Physician Shortage
Tremendous growth in the area — more than 20 percent in the last 10 years — has created a shortage of primary care physicians. This means residents must seek care farther away or use the emergency medicine system, which is more expensive.
John C. Lincoln has been active in primary care physician recruitment and expansion in this area. Another focus will be expansion of immediate care offices and the development of medical homes for patients with physicians to help manage chronic conditions, for example, and reduce the need for emergency care.
Health Care Coverage
The population with health care insurance in Maricopa County is below average, with one in three Arizonans uninsured. Deer Valley has 23 percent of the uninsured inpatient market. In addition, AHCCCS dropped coverage for more than 87,000 Arizonans.
The hospital continues to work on financial assistance options, cash discounts and AHCCCS eligibility assistance, when appropriate. The Community Health Center may transition to a Federally Qualifying Health Center, which will provide additional help for underserved populations. The hospital also will continue absorbing shortfalls in reimbursements and provide charity care to qualifying patients.
Additional Community Health Needs
Other high-priority community health needs in the Deer Valley Hospital service area are affordable health care, chronic disease management, prevention, behavioral health, dental health, personal care and transition between health care settings, family caregiver education and tools that support personal health responsibility.
John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital
This assessment identified a list of 11 needs and an action plan for each need. The top two issues facing the John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital community are stable housing and affordable health care.
Without it, families have trouble managing their daily lives and their health suffers. Inadequate housing also causes stress, promoting infectious diseases and making chronic conditions worse. Thirty to 45 percent of the population around North Mountain lives at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Through Neighborhood Renewal, work will continue to stabilize housing and help more people become homeowners. To date, Neighborhood Renewal has built 48 homes and created 187 new home buyers through its programs.
Affordable/Accessible Health Care
It's estimated that AHCCCS pays about 67 percent of the actual cost associated with a patient. The Community Health Center is being evaluated for a designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center, which will expand services, particularly for immunizations, screenings, chronic disease management and more for those enrolled in public health coverage programs.
About 80,000 low income people in the North Mountain service area are not currently served by the existing FQHCs. We will continue to support Desert Mission's initiatives and expand the level of involvement and collaboration with existing organizations to address the health needs of the community.
Additional Community Health Needs
Other high-priority community health needs in the North Mountain Hospital service area are health care coverage, primary care, prevention, chronic disease management, behavioral health, dental health, personal care, family caregiver education and tools for supporting personal health responsibility.
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