About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Moss Clinic and health reform; hospital’s blog resumes
Hello, again. I’m back to blogging after being away for about 10 days. I hope you missed me.
Let’s resume the conversation with this piece from Karen Dulaney, the executive director of the Moss Free Clinic. The article was first published this week in the clinic’s fall newsletter and appears here with Dulaney’s permission. It’s about the new federal health care reform legislation and what it will mean to Moss Clinic and its clients. Dulaney writes:
“Not a day goes by without someone asking how the new health care reform legislation will affect our free clinic. While many of the details have yet to be worked out, and it’s still too early to fully gauge the impact, it appears that a significant percentage of Moss Free Clinic patients may benefit.
“The new legislation expands Medicaid eligibility, which should help low-income uninsured adults to get medical assistance. The legislation also creates federal subsidies to help low-income and middle class families purchase health insurance that they might otherwise not afford.
“In the short term, however, the availability of health services to the low-income uninsured will not change much as many of these programs won’t begin until 2014. In the meantime, they will need our clinic to help manage their diabetes, hypertension, and many other chronic conditions.
“The Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic will likely play a critical role as patients transition to their new health insurance — whether it is a private plan purchased with the help of subsidies or a government program like Medicaid.
“Even when health care reform is fully implemented in 2019, an estimated 23 million people nationwide are expected to be uninsured. Our clinic will continue to see unemployed and low-income patients with high blood pressure, asthma and other debilitating health conditions who still won’t be able to afford even subsidized health insurance. The Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic will continue to do what we have done for nearly 17 years — keep them healthy.”
(The Moss Clinic’s Web site is here. The News & Events tab offers a button that lets you subscribe to its newsletter.)
Also, the folks at the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center resumed blogging this week. The hospital had a blog last year, then dropped it. For the new version, here, various staff members are writing the posts. This sample is from Rob Toonkel, leader of guest services, who writes about working with teenage volunteers:
“We decided to accept applications from individuals over the age of 14, believing that the vast majority of high school students are ready for the responsibility that comes with a good, honest role in a hospital. As for the temperamental part, we knew that we couldn’t affect a teenager’s feeling about her own family, or her school family, but we could certainly give her a place in our SRMC family. From the start, we proved the lazy reputation of high school volunteers to be false.”