Regular visitors to the Rock Port Family Medical Center may have noticed some changes to operations. These changes are due to the clinic’s efforts to become designated as a Rural Health Clinic by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The Rural Health Clinic designation was created in 1977 and is designed to ensure access to primary care services in rural areas. One of the key benefits of a rural health clinic designation is that it is required for access to the 340B Prescription Drug Discount Program. The 340B program can provide for discounted prescription drug prices for patients and can be extremely beneficial to those experiencing the impact of high prescription drug prices. 340B is not immediately available due to a multi-step process required by the federal government but will become accessible to patients receiving care at Rock Port in the future.
Community Hospital-Fairfax has been working since 2018 to convert all the hospital’s primary care clinics to Rural Health Clinic status to make the 340B Prescription Drug Program widely available to all members of the community. Mound City, Burlington Junction and Oregon are in year two of Rural Health Clinic operations, Tarkio and Fairfax have just been designated and Rock Port is the final clinic to be working toward this status.
Rural Health Clinics are subject to some regulations that have changed operations at the Rock Port Family Medical Center. One of the new changes is that patient care services are not allowed to be performed without a provider on the premises. To accommodate patient care while Dr. Burke is rounding at the hospital, Joanna Burke, P.N.P., will now be onsite at the clinic at 8:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday. An added benefit to this arrangement is additional pediatric appointments during morning hours in Rock Port.
The second change patients may notice is in operational hours. Clinic hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. On days when Dr. Burke is out of town, every effort will be made to provide coverage by a mid-level provider.
Community Hospital-Fairfax and Rock Port Family Medical Center look forward to being able to serve patients through the Rural Health designation and ultimately the 340B Prescription Discount Program and are grateful to patients for their patience while necessary changes are being operationalized.
For more information or to reach the Rock Port Family Medical Center please call 660-744-5361.