Community Care Clinic of Dare expanding services, asks county for additional funds
Published 6:02 am Saturday, March 11, 2023
“Community Care Clinic of Dare provides basic healthcare, medication assistance and wellness education for financially challenged and uninsured persons living or working in Dare County,” states the “Welcome” page of its website.
In February, the clinic’s executive director Lyn Jenkins updated the Dare County Board of Commissioners.
She explained the clinic’s patient load is increasing and the clinic is expanding its services.
Currently, the clinic is providing 766 adults with primary medical care. The new dental clinic, expected to open in the spring of 2023, is forecast to serve an additional 1,500 patients in the first year.
The clinic is also providing the only syringe services program in Dare County.
And it now offers Vivitrol for treating alcohol and opioid use disorder.
Starting two new services with increased staff and overhead costs brings the need for increased funding.
Jenkins spelled out that need for Dare’s commissioners to increase the county’s contribution by $32,500.
The budget expands from this fiscal year’s $725,475 to an estimated $1,116,997 for fiscal year 2024.
Projected budget and its sources for fiscal year 2024 were shared with the commissioners:
State of North Carolina: $388,000
Dare County: $67,500 “(an increase to $100,000 would be very impactful)”
Dare County Department of Health and Human Services: $6,000
Town of Nags Head: rent discount
Town of Kill Devil Hills: $10,000
The Outer Banks Hospital: $64,000 plus $20,000 toward direct patient care
Local businesses, civic/church, individuals: $150,000
Fundraising: a billfish tournament: $70,000
Statewide organizations: $54,000.
Jenkins also reported that to set up the dental practice, former U.S. Senator Richard Burr was able to secure $423,000 to renovate the existing facility and purchase large dental equipment.
Some clinic history from its website:
The Community Care Clinic of Dare was founded in 2005 by a partnership of the Albemarle Hospital Foundation, the Dare County Department of Public Health and the Outer Banks Hospital.
The 2005 original locations were in Kitty Hawk and Buxton, now Frisco. Another clinic was opened in Manteo in December 2006.
In May 2012, Manteo and Kitty Hawk consolidated and opened a clinic in Nags Head.
In July 2013, the Community Care Clinic of Dare relocated to its existing facility at 425 Health Center Dr. in Nags Head.
Nags Head, 435 Health Center Dr. Open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 252-261-3041 for an appointment. Patients are welcome to walk in to pick up an application during clinic hours.
Frisco, 50347 NC 12. Second Thursday of each month. Call to schedule appointment at 252-261-3041
Services (as listed on the clinic’s website)
Basic (non-emergency) medical care
Non-urgent care sick visits
Prescription drug access (excluding pain medication) through NC MedAssist and multiple pharmacy assistance programs and new on-site pharmacy
Mental health medication voucher program
Syringe services program
Specialist and mental health referrals
Health and wellness education
COVID-19 vaccines and testing
Interpretation services available in 200+ languages
“The Community Care Clinic of Dare is unable to provide emergency or urgent care services, obstetrical gynecological (OB-GYN) care, and access to narcotics or other controlled medications including those for pain management,” states the clinic’s website.
Vivitrol is a prescription injectable medicine used to treat alcohol dependence and prevent relapse to opioid dependence after opioid detoxification. To use Vivitrol for treating alcohol dependence, the patient must stop drinking before starting treatment.
This clinic program, open to all, is financed with opioid settlement funds. The time-released injection lasts for 30 days.
To be eligible to receive services from the Community Care Clinic of Dare, the patient must:
- Be 18 years and over
- Live or work in Dare County
- Be uninsured or underinsured
- Meet household income eligibility requirements
Currently, around 93% of patients live in Dare County and 6% live in surrounding counties but work in Dare County.
To be eligible for primary care medical services at the Community Care Clinic, the total household income will need to be less than or equal to 300% of the federal poverty level. For example, a single adult at 300% of the federal poverty level has a gross annual income of $43,740 or less and, for a family of four, gross annual income of $90,000 or less.
Annual Administration Fee
The clinic assesses an annual administrative fee:
$45 – For individual annual income less than $14,580
$80 – For individual annual income between $14,581 and $21,870
$115 – For individual annual income between $21,871 and $29,160
$150 – For individual annual income between $29,161 and $36,450
$185 – For individual annual income between $36,451 and $43,740
As explained by Jenkins, the annual administration fee covers unlimited clinic visits, lab work, MRI/CT exams, health education sessions, flu/COVID/strep testing, flu/COVID vaccines, case management, medication assistance, assessment and referral to specialists and mental health, etc.
To use the on-site pharmacy, the patient must meet the same eligibility guidelines as the medical clinic. The medications are free but an administration fee for medication processing is charged.
The fees are: $5 administrative fee for processing a 30-day generic prescription and $12 administrative fee for processing a 90-day generic prescription; $10 administrative fee for processing a 30-day brand name prescription and $25 administrative fee for processing a 90-day brand name prescription. There is no charge and no administrative fee to use the syringe services program.
MedAssist is one of the medication assistance programs that the Community Care Clinic of Dare uses. MedAssist has a specific income eligibility, which is 200% of the federal poverty level in order to qualify for medications through its program. Other medical assistance programs used are multiple pharmacy assistance programs.
The Community Care Clinic of Dare has recently rolled out an Employers 4 Care program. The program is available to local businesses that want to help employees access health care. The local business makes an annual tax-deductible donation to the Community Care Clinic. The suggested donation guideline for each employee who will use the program is $500, which is what it costs to provide primary care per patient. Eligible employees must be uninsured or underinsured with income less than or equal to 300% of the federal poverty level and live/work in Dare County. The employee who registers will have the administration fee waived. The administrative fees for processing prescriptions will still apply.
A dental clinic is in the planning stages and a sliding fee scale will apply.
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