MCHC Earns Top Quality Scores

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Above: Associate Medical Director Justin Ebert, PA, enjoys working with patients at Hillside Health Center.

November 2015

MCHC Health Centers earned the highest scores of all family practice clinics during Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC)’s annual quality assessment. PHC is a non-profit, community-based health care organization that contracts with the State to administer Medi-Cal benefits through local care providers like MCHC Health Centers to ensure Medi-Cal recipients have access to high-quality, comprehensive, cost-effective health care.

PHC measured several quality indicators for 217 public and private medical clinics in Northern California; they measured clinical care, appropriate use of resources, access to care, and patient experience. Six sites received the top score of 95 (out of 100)—three of those six were MCHC Health Centers’ three sites: Hillside Health Center in Ukiah, Little Lake Health Center in Willits, and Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. Another one of those top six was Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic in Willits.

“This is a huge accomplishment,” said MCHC Health Centers Medical Director Dr. Tom Bertolli. “This lets people know we are providing top quality care, whether we’re compared to public clinics or private providers.”

PHC’s clinical measures focused on helping patients manage their diabetes, making sure women were screened for cervical cancer, and assessing childhood obesity. Other measures included providing access to outpatient care, so patients did not have to go to hospital emergency rooms; using resources wisely (i.e., not wasting money, using efficient procedures); and providing patients with a good experience where they felt heard and received the information they needed to make good decisions.

“Because we’re located in small, rural locations, people sometimes assume they aren’t receiving top quality care; these scores prove otherwise. Our health care teams choose to live and work in Lake and Mendocino Counties for the same reason everyone else does: it’s beautiful and we like the slower pace of life. We could work in large, metropolitan health centers with well-known reputations, but we choose to be here,” said MCHC Health Centers Associate Medical Director Justin Ebert, PA.

MCHC Health Centers Quality Director, Jaisingh Niemer, MD, MPH, spoke highly of PHC and their approach to quality. He said, “Partnership HealthPlan is aptly named. The organization is our partner. They are receptive to the needs of their members and have been excellent to work with as we address the evolving health needs of the populations we serve. As we move forward, we’ll continue to work with them to meet our patients’ needs.” 

Dr. Niemer identified some of the reasons MCHC Health Centers received such high scores: to assure access to care for patients who cannot make appointments during regular business hours, for example, MCHC Health Centers offer Saturday Urgent Care Clinics and evening hours during the week, and making sure both new and established patients can be seen in a timely manner. For clinical excellence in treating diabetic patients, MCHC Health Centers made sure patients not only received regular blood tests for sugars and cholesterol, but that they also received kidney screenings and retinal eye exams. This required investing in special equipment as well as training for staff.

“We are really proud of our team,” said CEO Carole Press. “Our whole staff works together to support each other as they care for our patients, and I believe the patients can feel the difference.”

Press reinforced the organization’s commitment to high quality care, the health of the patient and the community. “Everything we do revolves around providing access to the highest level of care for everyone,” she said.

MCHC Health Centers provides comprehensive health services including primary medical care, pediatrics, dentistry, women’s health, obstetrical care, counseling, psychiatry, chiropractic and specialty care, and looks forward to growing to meet the ever-expanding needs of the communities it serves. Learn more at www.mchcinc.org.   

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