Inova ensures that those uninsured or on Medicaid get the care they need
It is well recognized that regular appointments with the same healthcare team, providing consistency in treatment, and a high level of preventative care all provide significant benefits for children and their families. Often this seems out of reach for underinsured or uninsured children. Inova’s mission is to provide world-class healthcare to each person in every community, regardless of ability to pay. The work of Partnership for Healthier Communities (PHC) assures that children and families have access to the healthcare they need.
This is especially important at this time of year, when cold and flu season looms, and being back in school increases exposure to more viruses. Inova helps families find a “medical home;” a provider team that offers comprehensive care aimed at reducing risks with appropriate vaccinations, well-child checks and treatment of any early-stage illnesses.
For those on Medicaid or without insurance, though, there’s often a perception that this kind of care — or any care — is unaffordable or even unavailable. That’s why Inova is dedicated to making sure all children and their families have access to a high-quality, supportive medical home that provides comprehensive services, from sick visits and sports physicals, to immunizations and nutritional counseling.
Through two unique services, Inova ensures that no matter what the financial or insurance circumstance, children and their families have a welcoming provider team.
The Partnership for Healthier Communities, previously known as Partnership for Healthier Kids, identifies uninsured children and adults and connects them to affordable healthcare services and insurance, according to Rachel Lynch, MPH, Director of Community Health Improvement for Inova Population Health.
Originally focused primarily on children, with Medicaid expansion in Virginia the program is now able to help more adults as well, and has increased outreach by sending representatives to community centers and schools to discuss the need for health coverage and services.
“Our efforts to raise awareness fit in well with prevention efforts,” says Lynch. “When someone has an accessible medical home, they can get and stay healthy, and not wait for an emergency to get care. This reduces the times they will need to make the choice between putting food on the table, having transportation to work or going to the doctor. We want to make sure that people understand health insurance may be within reach, even if they haven’t had any before.”
While PHC assists with health insurance, the Inova Cares Clinic for Children has been providing quality care for Northern Virginia’s underserved population of women and children since 1993.
The clinic provides a range of services, including well-child visits, hearing and vision screenings, school physicals, immunizations, chronic disease management, treatment of minor injuries, infant care and more.
Patients can even get a free toothbrush, thanks to a toothbrush drive for the clinic from the nonprofit Smiles for Miles. Dental health is essential for overall health and has been shown be a factor in childhood self-esteem and confidence.
At this time of year, there’s also a renewed focus on cold and flu prevention. Inova team members at PHC are busy encouraging families to schedule physicals, increase good-health strategies like hand-washing, proper sleep practices, drinking more water and eating nutritious foods.
“Inova truly wants to ensure that all children, and all families, have the medical care they need, in a way that’s consistent and long term,” Lynch says. “We want people to have that medical home they need to be healthy.”
Inova Partnership for Healthier Communities and Inova Cares Clinic for Children are standouts when it comes to supporting the community. Call us at 703-531-3100 for information on walk-in clinic hours and appointments.
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