Olathe receives federal funding for busy clinic
The Olathe Clinic will receive $650,000 a year, making it easier for physicians and others to deal with a rapidly increasing caseload, officials said.
The funding under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was announced Wednesday as part of $2.9 million in grants in Colorado to be administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
The grant will make it easier for residents to obtain health care without having to travel to Montrose Memorial Hospital, which manages the clinic.
“It’s wonderful,” Mary Snyder, chief operating officer of the hospital, said of the grant, noting that many patients there are uninsured or have difficulty paying for health care.
Demand at the clinic has grown from 1,900 patient visits in 2008 to 4,900 last year, and that number could rise to 5,200 or more in the coming year, Snyder said.
Much of the increased demand was driven by moving the clinic to a new location and bringing in more physicians, Snyder said.
Olathe-area residents will remain in control of the clinic, though the clinic will have to provide some performance data, such as immunization rates, diabetic rates and the use of quality improvement techniques, said Patrick Gillies, Region VIII administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“We provide a piece of the funding, but it’s really locally operated,” said Gillies, who presented the grant in Olathe on Wednesday.
The clinic board will decide what improvements it will pursue, Gillies said, noting that the board already has approved a contract for an electronic medical records system there.
In all, $128.6 million was directed in grants to 219 health-center programs across the United States. Officials said the grants would expand access to care for more than 1.25 million additional patients and create approximately 5,640 jobs by establishing new health center sites.