La Red Health Center
- Need: Meeting the health care needs of the uninsured and underinsured population of Sussex County, Delaware.
- Intervention: La Red Health Center was created to offer culturally competent primary and preventative care to children and adults, regardless of ability to pay.
- Results: La Red Health Center (LRHC) serves thousands of residents at four clinical sites, a school-based wellness center and through a collaborative effort with a local senior center.
La Red Health Center (LRHC) has experienced significant growth in the number of patients served and programs and services offered since its 2001 inception to meet the needs of a growing number of locally uninsured individuals.
Bringing healthcare to Sussex County Delaware (SCD) has been a challenge. SCD is federally designated as a Medically Underserved Area, a low-income Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), a Dental HPSA, and a Mental Health HPSA. Today, as a Federally Qualified Health Center, LRHC serves all of the residents of Sussex County. To increase access to high quality health care for the underserved populations, LRHC increased its physical presence in the areas of highest need throughout Sussex County.
In order to offer healthcare services at an affordable cost, LRHC utilizes a Sliding Fee Scale, assessing fees based on annual federal poverty guidelines. Over 64% of LRHC's patients live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and qualify for LRHC's Sliding Fee Scale. The vast majority of LRHC's uninsured patients meet the criteria for the organization's nominal medical all-inclusive fee of $30 per medical visit and $50 per dental visit -- significantly less than the local market value of such services. Similar nominal all-inclusive fees are offered for routine dental services, GYN services and elective procedural services.
LRHC has been awarded three subsequent grants from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy:
- Pediatric & Adolescent Services
- Adult & Senior Services
- Women's Health Services
- Screening Services for Chronic Diseases
- Oral Health Services
- Behavioral Health Services for Children & Adults
- Medicaid Eligibility & Enrollment
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace Assistance, Market Place assistance, Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment, Women, Infants, and Children referrals
- Access to transportation and medication
With an original staff numbering 5 in 2001, LRHC now employs around 150 people. LRHC expanded its Family Practice site in Georgetown in 2012, and expanded its Family Practice site in Seaford in 2013. In 2015, LRHC further expanded its geographic presence by opening a new Family Practice site in Milford. All of LRHC's Family Practice sites offer behavioral health services, which are in great demand throughout Sussex, Delaware. In 2016, LRHC began managing an existing specialty GYN site in Seaford to provide access to specialty gynecological services many of its existing patients couldn't access due to insurance issues. Three years later, in 2019, LRHC relocated its stand-alone specialty GYN site into the Seaford Family Practice site in order to provide increased access to specialty gynecological services many of its existing patients couldn't access due to insurance issues.
Challenges facing LHRC today:
- Provider supply – relatively difficult to recruit both primary care physicians and specialty physicians to rural settings
- Public transportation – the county lacks a dependable transportation system, so to overcome that barrier, LRHC bought a fleet of vans to provide transportation for their patients
- Staff retention – staff retention as a whole has been an issue as people accept positions at LRHC, get trained on site, and then move on to other healthcare organizations
- Initial development of strong community partnerships
- Early identification of partner buy-in
- Avoid service duplication with other healthcare organizations
- Identify and meet existing service gaps
Contact InformationBrian S. Olson, Chief Executive Officer
La Red Health Center, Inc.
Community health workers
Culture and cultural competency
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Hispanic or Latino
May 11, 2009
Date updated or reviewed
December 13, 2020
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2020. La Red Health Center [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/509 [Accessed 23 March 2023]
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