Among the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, Pershing Health System continues implementation and development of our Community Health Needs Assessment. January 2014 marked the first complete year of Pershing’s Community Health Needs Assessment period which runs for a three year cycle. Within that first year, Pershing established an Implementation Plan and continues to collaborate with external partners to reach the goals of the plan.
Our primary goal is Helping Children in Poverty and we outlined several aspects within our Implementation Plan to address this unmet need in Linn County. What we have learned within this first year is an evolution of the primary goal from Helping Children in Poverty to Access to Care. We are pleased to report progress in this primary goal through specific actions. One of our earliest interventions was to offer free Wellness Exams to any child of any of the school districts in Linn County. These exams were offered in July and August of 2013 and were available during four Wellness Event weekends and gave participants the option to also receive a free MSHSAA Pre-participation Physical Evaluation (the MSHSAA Evaluation is a requirement for students to participate in school activities such as sports and marching band). Of the students who attended the Wellness Event, 41% had not received a physical exam in the prior twelve months. Additionally, we saw students from every school district in Linn County attend the Wellness Events and take advantage of the free wellness exam.
Another strategy to increase access to care was the revision of our Financial Assistance Policy. The policy was updated to comply with the Affordable Care Act and we feature a plain language summary available at our registration offices. The application, financial guidelines, and summary are also available on our website www.pershinghealthsystem.com.
In the fall of 2013, Pershing signed on as a Champion for Coverage participant in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative to increase public awareness of the healthcare exchanges. As a Champion for Coverage, Pershing was a host site for two community education and healthcare marketplace enrollment events and provides educational pamphlets and referral to area Certified Application Counselors.
Our annual Hospital Week Health Fair is planned for May 12th through May 15th. Details regarding the schedule of available testing and services offered will soon be announced on our website www.pershinghealthsystem.com and local media outlets.
Pershing remains committed to local initiatives that support access to care and is fortunate to collaborate with our external partners including the Linn County Health Department, area school districts, law enforcement agencies, social services and community agencies. Community participation and comment is welcome regarding our Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan and may directed to Stephanie Milford at email@example.com or 130 E. Lockling, Brookfield, MO 64628. The complete Community Health Needs Assessment & Implementation Plan are available for viewing at www.pershinghealthsystem.com.