Lee Community Healthcare Receives Federal Health Center Designation

Lee Community Healthcare clinics in Dunbar and North Fort Myers have been approved to operate as federally qualified health center look-alikes (FQHC-LAL). Lee Community Healthcare is affiliated with Lee Memorial Health System and provides primary medical care to the uninsured and underinsured in Lee County. Lee Community Healthcare patients qualify for significantly discounted fees based on household size and income.

FQHCs provide health care and social services to support underserved communities and must operate in accordance with regulations that apply to Federal Health Center Programs. The Lee Community Healthcare clinics in Dunbar and North Fort Myers are FQHC look-alikes (FQHC–LAL), which means they operate like a FQHC, but are not eligible for federal grant funding. The Lee Community Care clinic in Cape Coral will apply for FQHC-LAL designation later this year.

“Increasing access to primary health care services for the uninsured and underserved people of Lee County helps to improve their overall health, reduces inappropriate ED visits and establishes a primary care medical home for a patient’s long-term care,” explains Bob Johns, Executive Director, Lee Community Healthcare.

Adults without health insurance or a regular primary care medical home have been shown to use the emergency department (ED) and hospital services at higher rates than commercially insured persons. They are also less compliant with medical treatment due to non-medical factors such as transportation, food, and other financial issues.

“This special federal designation means a more sustainable future for Lee Community Healthcare and additional benefits for our patients. It allows us to recruit from a larger pool of highly qualified physicians, offer larger discounts on costly medications, secure better coverage of costs for most patients, and provide our friends and neighbors with outstanding care as part of an officially recognized patient-centered medical home,” explains Johns.

In 2010, it was estimated that 191,235 Lee County residents were living in low-income households, with more than 130,000 of them lacking access to primary health care services. Lee Memorial Health System partnered with United Way in 2011 to open primary care clinics in the Dunbar and North Fort Myers communities, to integrate medical care and social service support in the physician’s office. In 2014, Lee Community Care provided 16,064 office visits to 6,693 primarily uninsured and economically distressed residents of Lee County.

Lee Community Healthcare is committed to focusing on optimal outcomes for patients by developing close patient-provider relationships and empowering each patient to truly understand and take ownership of their health as partners in their care. In addition, the highly trained staff routinely assists patients in evaluating their eligibility to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges and to sign up for Medicaid or Medicare benefits.

For more information, please visit www.WeCareForLee.org, or your nearest Lee Community Healthcare:

Dunbar, 3511 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite B, Fort Myers, 239-343-4910 or 239-343-4912
North Fort Myers, 13279 N. Cleveland Ave., North Fort Myers, 239-652-4111 or 239-652-4101
Cape Coral, 1435 SE 8th Ter., Suite E, Cape Coral, 239-424-2757

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