Healthcare Survey Highlights Concerns About Cost and Fragmentation

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La Junta, CO—August 13, 2013—Southeast Health Group

Prowers County residents said they are concerned about the cost of health insurance, the rising cost of healthcare, and the disjointed system of care in Prowers County. Thirty community stakeholders from a diverse group that attends the Human Resources Committee meetings and the Prowers County Health Care Coalition took the survey in July. The survey is administered every six months.

While 59% of survey respondents said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the health care services available to them, others pointed to a need for more health education and a lack of exercise and fitness opportunities as reasons for their dissatisfaction. Half of the respondents admitted to concern over whether every Prowers County resident has access to healthcare, and 70% expressed concern about cost of healthcare.

“We’re learning more about the social determinants of health,” said JC Carrica, Chief Operating Officer for Southeast Health Group. “Poverty can impact a person’s ability to live in a safe home, buy nutritious food, and get a good education. Without these basic building blocks, it becomes harder to achieve and maintain good health.”

Fifty-nine percent (59%) expressed concerned about fragmentation, citing that the existing health care partners need to communicate and work together better. In 2012, Southeast Health Group began offering free Health Navigation services to any resident of Prowers County, to complement the Health Coaching services available through High Plains Community Health Center. Coaches and navigators connect people to services through scheduling, transportation and education by communicating with health care providers and family members. They link patients to resources and help them to overcome the barriers that perpetuate fragmented care. Of the surveyed group, 77% had heard about the new health navigator services, and 20% personally knew someone who had benefitted from working with a Health Navigator.

Healthier Living classes are also available in the community as a way to teach people how to maximize their resources and manage their health care needs. Of those surveyed, 57% said they knew someone who would benefit from learning more about their health and managing a chronic condition.

Those who took the survey had suggestions for how we can all work to reduce the cost of healthcare in Prowers County:

• You’ll save money if you take advantage of evening and weekend clinics instead of using the emergency room for routine or non-emergency care

• Don’t use the ambulance service as a “taxi”—keep it for real emergencies

• Make healthier food choices, maintain your weight as you age and try to avoid obesity, which brings on chronic diseases

• Make a few simple lifestyle changes now to improve your health; they will pay off in the long run with fewer medications and doctor visits

“We all need to work together using the resources available to us to improve the health of our residents and our communities,” said Jackie Brown, Director of Integrated Care for Southeast Health Group. “We have an opportunity to make Prowers County a healthier place to live for everyone.”

Southeast Health Group offers emergency services for mental health and substance use disorders 24/7/365, and no one is refused services based on their ability to pay. To access Health Navigator services or to sign up for a Healthier Living class, call 336-0478 extension 8.

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Contact:  Jeannie Larsen


Filed Under: communityEducationFeaturedHealth


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