Community health care centers are designed to medically aid the underserved areas in the rural as well as suburb communities where there is little access to primary health care for the low-income, uninsured, or underinsured people. These medically underserved areas are known to have a high poverty and infant mortality rate, along with a high elderly population but they have too few primary care providers. Mostly, federally and locally funded, these centers are designed to have strong primary care abilities with new equipment and electronic medical records, so that they can provide immediate medical help to the needy and unfortunate, decreasing their overall health care costs.
So, if you belong to the above-mentioned income bracket and tend to belong to one of the medically deprived areas, you should resort to a reliable and reputed community health center. Before you embark on selecting the final one, you must be clear about certain things. Therefore, here, we have put together some pivotal questions you need to ask the healthcare center. Take a look.
1. Are there are any eligibility requirements in order to qualify as a community healthcare center patient?
Mostly, there are no eligibility restrictions with regard to receiving care from a community health center. Generally, all these medical centers provide the requisite care to everyone, irrespective of their status of residency, employment, income, health insurance coverage, or affordability to incur the costs of their services. Since these can be accessed from anywhere and by anyone, these are increasingly in demand, especially in some parts of the USA. But if you are availing such a facility for the first time, make sure you ask the particular health center about any eligibility criteria.
2. Is making appointments an absolute essential when visiting a community healthcare center?
Appointments are always preferred, just like other hospitals and medical care centers. Most of the good community centers have proper, functioning websites nowadays where you can see their operating schedule, which days are open and which days are closed, along with a detailed list of the timings as well. By taking an appointment in advance, basically, makes sure that there will be a definite slot for you to receive the personalized medical attention you deserve. So, you must ask whether this particular healthcare center that you have chosen gives greater priority to the patients who have prior appointments or are sick, over the walk-in ones or not. This will help you to plan accordingly.
3. What kind of medical facilities do you provide?
Another crucial question that will determine whether you will be getting the right treatment in this particular community health center or not is what sort of medical facilities do they provide. This can be best understood if you take a look at the kinds of departments they cater to such as Geriatrics, Pharmacy, Family Planning, Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN), Prevention, Screening and Monitoring, and Laboratory Services. A wider arena of departments means the center hires expert doctors and nurses who can take care of various issues. This is further a reflection on the reputation, expertise, and professionalism of the medical center, which is also quite a deciding factor when it comes to choosing a community healthcare center.
4. How much will it cost?
Regardless of whether you have a financial crisis or not, you would want to know an estimated cost of the treatment. So, this is obviously a very pertinent question. There are many community healthcare centers who offer discounted services depending on the size of the family in question and their total income. And these kinds of information have to be verified with relevant documents like Proof of Age and Family Size, Proof of Residence, Proof of Income, and Proof of Identity. In case, a patient cannot produce the appropriate documentation, the patient might be billed as per the full rate. So, be clear about everything, right from the beginning.
So, now that you know about the questions to ask your medical care center, look for one of the best community health centers in Newark NJ. It is always advisable that you seek a comprehensive primary care in your community for a comfortable and accommodating treatment. Never forget that your health is your wealth.
Author Bio: Dr. Gerard Brown, associated with a reputed community health center Newark NJ, here writes on the 4 pivotal questions one needs to ask before deciding on a healthcare center.