Ensuring Long-Term Sustainability for a Free Clinic on Long Island
Special Projects Fund
November 17, 2011
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The need for providing free and reliable health care services to vulnerable populations with acute shortages or issues around access to care will continue to exist after implementation of Federal health reform.
RotaCare has been providing free medical care for individuals in need since 1992, and demand for its services continues to grow. But economic factors prompted RotaCare to reevaluate its structure and devise a new approach to ensure its long-term sustainability. RotaCare developed policies and procedures to comply with Article 28 standards, and implemented and operationalized these policies to ensure a successful conversion from a private physician’s office model to a New York State Designated Article 28 clinic.
RotaCare obtained potential opportunities to achieve long term sustainability, such as Article 28 designation, which allowed it to participate in the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) of Free Volunteer Health Care professionals and save approximately $80,000 a year. FTCA protection also allowed RotaCare to recruit more recently retired physicians and specialists who were no longer carry their own liability insurance. The additional legitimacy as a duly recognized State-licensed entity will opened new funding opportunities. RotaCare can now exist as an independent clinic rather than rely on one physicians’ medical practice. RotaCare hired a project manager who assisted with the transition and ensured that its operations meet State regulations, personnel policies and procedures, medical records, patient rights, and quality assurance programs. Rotacare implemented a quality assurance program that involved designing benchmarks for successe, establishing standards of care for select medical conditions, and implementing a system for tracking patient data.