MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Pat Dobbins appeared at the Glades County Commission meeting this week and summarized a proposal she prepared for the Glades County Health Department to outsource primary care, pediatric and dental services with doctors, dentists and support staff in-house five days per week to provide for the “sick care part of the business” for County residents.
She said, “Because the governor wants health departments out of it.” Ms. Dobbins said with limited funding, “The challenges are bigger than me!”
She stated that during the last six months, she has formed an agreement with Florida Community Health Center [FCHC] to provide these services to commence August 1, 2012 and she’s seeking the Glades County Board’s consensus about the matter.
She explained that a member of FCHC staff will be a “patient navigator” to work with patients to secure funding whether through Medicaid or insurance to determine their sliding fee scale which is to be a minimum of $20 co-pay. Upon questioning, she stated that FCHC will not turn away those patients who cannot pay the $20.
In LaBelle, where the health department doesn't provide primary care, the non-profit health provider, Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida gives health services on a sliding scale, and in the dental clinic low income patients without insurance or Medicaid pay fees only slightly less than local dentists are charging for dental work. It is unclear whether the Glades county proposal will remedy that situation for the uninsured poor who may use Florida Community Health Center services.
Ms. Dobbins also mentioned a funding match mechanism whereby the County would remit the Health Dept. funding to FCHC who could use the funds for a federal two-to-one grant match, and then they remit the original budgeted funds to the Health Dept.
She reaffirmed to the Board that the Health Dept. will continue providing public health services which includes immunizations, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, chronic disease prevention, WIC services, Environmental Health, vital statistics, and public services such as school health, healthy start, healthy families and tobacco prevention programs.
The Board consensus was tentative approval, but requested Ms. Dobbins to bring back the outlined agreement in writing.