Preston-Taylor Community Health Center Operations Explained at Pubic Meeting

A Public Meeting was held at the Mountaintop Health Center located at 30 Cortland Acres Lane in Thomas, WV on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 7 pm. The meeting was attended by local community leaders with staff and board representation. The community was invited to attend the meeting through a notice in the Parsons Advocate on March 12.

A background of Preston-Taylor Community Health Center (PTCHC), was presented by Linda Shriver, CEO. Preston-Taylor has operated health centers in north central WV since 1976. They currently support seven clinic locations in a four-county service area as follows: Grant County – Mt. Storm Health Center; Preston County – Eglon Health Center, Newburg Clinic, Rowlesburg Clinic; Taylor County – Medical Center of Taylor County and Dental Center of Taylor County located in Grafton; Tucker County – Mountaintop Health Center in Thomas.

Preston-Taylor took over the center in Tucker County in response to a request from members of the local community when Davis Health Systems decided to cease operations at the site in 1998-1999. We took over the site which was then located in Davis, WV, in June 2000 in cooperation with the Davis Health Systems. In 2011-12 we received federal grant funds to build the new facility in Thomas.

June Griffith, Chief Operations Officer, presented demographic information about the health center. The patient gender, age and payer mix were presented as well as a zip code analysis showing the areas where the patients live that are served by the health center.

The medical providers at the site are Dr. Edwin Rader who is Board Certified Family Practice Physician, and Diane Rader, Physician Assistant. Dr. Rader also follows his patients at the local Cortland Acres Nursing Home. The center is open five days a week with one evening session on Thursday to accommodate patients who may not be able to make an appointment before 5 pm. The results of recent patient satisfaction surveys were discussed with those attending as well as the services provided at the site.

As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) we offer a Sliding Fee Schedule for low-income patients who qualify, reducing the cost to the patient based on family size and income which is similar to the school lunch program. Immunizations are provided at no cost to low-income children (under 18 years of age) who qualify. State sponsored services are also provided through Family Planning and Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (BCCSP). Black Lung screening and benefits counseling can also be accessed through the Health Center for coal miners and their families as well as other occupational diseases. You can contact a Preston-Taylor Black Lung representative by calling 1-855-892-2850 toll free to set up an appointment or to receive further information.

Preston-Taylor operates a pharmacy at its site in Taylor County and is able to provide mail-order prescription services to patients of the Mountaintop Health Center. The pharmacy is a

340B program which allows FQHCs to obtain medications at Veterans Administration pricing. The Sliding Fee adjustment for low income patients is also applied to pharmacy services.

In addition, Medicare patients of the health center are not required to pay an annual deductible for services received at the site, patients are only responsible for 20% of charges. Flu and Pneumonia injections are provided at no cost to Medicare patients.

Preston-Taylor has recently added In Person Assisters (IPAs) to its staff which allows us to assist patients in navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The IPA can be reached at the toll-free number 1-855-860-4909 to set up an appointment at the Mountaintop Health Center. The initial enrollment period is set to end March 31, 2014, however, those qualifying for the expanded WV Medicaid eligibility can continue to enroll after that date. Please call if you have any questions.

Following a review of the current services, a discussion followed on ways to educate the public about the Health Center and to encourage them to seek primary health care services in their local community. Options to add new services at the site were discussed. Those present were asked to complete a brief survey outlining their concerns/ideas for the future and to let us know why they do or do not utilize the Health Center. Results of the meeting will be shared with the Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers Board of Directors as they work on their Strategic Plan. Don Black and Pat Nichols serve as the Tucker County representatives on the governing board which represents all four counties in the service area.

Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers supports the operation of the Mountaintop Health Center through fees generated from the provision of services as well as with grant funds from US Department of Health & Human Services, Health Resources Service Administration (HRSA) and the WV Department of Health & Human Resources, Division of Primary Care.

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