Lake County Free Clinic awarded Gold Rating

Published in The News-Herald | June 22, 2020

Lake County Free Clinic, which serves Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties, was awarded a 2020 Gold Rating by the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics Quality Standards Program.

This rating, based on self-reported data, showcases the clinic’s commitment to providing quality care to uninsured and underinsured adults and children, according to a news release.

“This recognition is a tribute to the volunteers and staff who live out their belief that healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” said Executive Director Marty Hiller in the release. “The need for affordable healthcare is part of the larger picture of inequalities affecting many members of our community.

“This need continues to grow as our neighbors lose insurance coverage or employment,” Hiller added. “The Gold Rating demonstrates our commitment to providing this care at the highest level.”

In its inaugural year, the Quality Standards Program was created to quantify and qualify the care provided at free and charitable clinics across the country, the release stated.

Member clinics submitted data on their policies and procedures in the following areas: administration, enhanced access and continuity of care, identification and management of patient population information, planning and managing care, providing self-care support and community resources, tracking and coordinating care and measuring performance.

Last year, Lake County Free Clinic provided more than 4,000 medical and treatment visits to more than 1,400 adults and children in Northeast Ohio.

In response to the increased need and the coronavirus pandemic, the clinic has implemented several changes to enhance care for patients.

Through a grant from the PA Foundation, the clinic, in partnership with Case Western Reserve University’s Physician Assistant program, will offer evening visits for patients working during the day or unable to access daytime transportation, the release stated.

The clinic also has implemented telehealth and virtual visits for patients at high risk or unable to leave their homes.

Also, the clinic now offers all new patient paperwork on its website, emphasizing its commitment to improving the patient experience while reducing its impact on climate change, the release stated

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